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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Groton Central School District – Financial Management (2014M-288)


Released: January 9, 2015 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the District’s financial activities for the period July 1, 2013 through August 21, 2014.

Background

The Groton Central School District is located in the Towns of Dryden, Groton and Lansing in Tompkins County, the Town of Homer in Cortland County and the Towns of Locke and Summerhill in Cayuga County. The District, which is governed by an elected six-member Board of Education, operates two schools with 833 students. Budgeted appropriations for the 2014-15 fiscal year are approximately $18.8 million.

Key Findings

  • Unassigned fund balance has exceeded the statutory maximum.
  • Three reserve funds have excessive balances and no plans or policies for the use of the reserves.
  • Over the last four years, the tax levy has increased by a total of $509,000, which was unnecessary based on the excessive levels of fund balance.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that the amount of unassigned fund balance is in compliance with statutory limits and reduce the amount of unassigned fund balance in a manner that benefits taxpayers.
  • Transfer excess reserve funds to unassigned fund balance, where allowed by law, or to other reserves established and maintained in compliance with statutes.
  • Stop raising more real property taxes than necessary.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236