A discrepancy in past revenue from beach badge sales was due to how pre-paid badges were classified, Chief Financial Officer Lisa McLaughlin said.

Figures given by McLaughlin for beach badge sales in 2008 and 2009 listed sales of about $264,000 and $269,000, respectively. Margate Clerk Tom Hiltner — using numbers from the previous city auditor — said those numbers should have been $252,000 and $282,000.

McLaughlin said the auditors classified some of the badges sold as pre-paid and did not count that revenue until actual cash was received, thereby shifting revenue from one year to another.

Hiltner pointed to the adjusted numbers, a drop of 3 percent in 2008 and an increase of 12 percent in 2009, as a way to show that this year’s 9 percent increase over 2011 — $320,000 compared with about $294,000 — was not the largest increase in the last few years and was not out of the ordinary.

The 2011 revenue numbers have been a major issue in Margate, with the new auditing firm of Ford, Scott Associates reporting 3,000 badges missing in 2011, which may have affected revenue that year by between $23,000 to $50,000.

Ford, Scott’s audit had cited “a severe lack of internal controls over beach tag operations for the year 2011.”

Hiltner has a lawsuit pending against the city in which he claims he was stripped of his duties as beach badge supervisor in retaliation for questioning the hiring of Ford, Scott, which had provided assistance to the election campaigns of mayor Mike Becker and Commissioner Brenda Taube.

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