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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

News

From the Office of the New York State Comptroller

Thomas P. DiNapoli

February 15, 2019, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

State Comptroller DiNapoli Announces Municipal Audits


New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced the following municipal audits have been issued.

Procurement of Electricity and Natural Gas through Aggregators (2018MS-5)
Local governments and school districts did not always evaluate procurement options or make comparisons to benchmark rates to ensure they received the lowest prices for electricity and natural gas. Five of seven entities reviewed (city of Albany; counties of Broome, Cortland and Oneida; and North Syracuse Central School District) spent approximately $2.4 million more for electricity than the benchmark rate used by auditors.

Bainbridge Fire District – Board Oversight (Chenango County)
The board established adequate controls to help safeguard assets, and the legally required procurement policy, investment policy and code of ethics were in place. The treasurer’s financial records and reports accurately and properly accounted for all financial activities. Although the board did not perform a formal annual audit of the treasurer’s records, it reviewed reports each month and performed a thorough audit of claims before they were paid to ensure they were supported and funds were used for legitimate expenditures.

Town of Hyde Park – Payroll and Time Records (Dutchess County)
Controls over payroll and time records were adequate to ensure the accuracy of payroll and time records. While the town has a good system in place, it could be further improved by filing approved time sheets electronically instead of printing them out only to have paper copies on file in order to save the time and expense of printing.

Town of Lyons – Real Property Tax Exemptions Administration (Wayne County)
The assessor granted a total of 633 non-New York State School Tax Relief Program property tax exemptions for non-municipal owned property on the 2017 assessment roll, collectively reducing the town’s 2018 taxable assessed value by more than $34 million. The assessor granted exemptions without applications, renewal forms or supporting documentation and did not correctly calculate granted exemptions.

Town of Moravia – Real Property Tax Exemptions Administration (Cayuga County)
The assessor granted 306 non-NYS School Tax Relief Program exemptions on non-municipal owned property on the 2017 assessment roll, which collectively reduced the town’s 2018 taxable assessed value by more than $12 million. Auditors reviewed 85 exemptions totaling $9.3 million and identified issues with 68 exemptions totaling $6.9 million (74 percent). The files related to the 85 granted exemptions and found that 68 exemptions (80 percent) totaling $6.9 million in town-exempt assessed value lacked one or more required supporting documents to determine eligibility or verify the accuracy of the exemption calculation

Town of Solon – Financial Management (Cortland County)
The board did not adopt a fund balance and reserve policy or create comprehensive multiyear financial and capital plans. From Dec. 31, 2014 through Dec. 31, 2017, general fund unrestricted fund balance increased by $106,230 (110 percent). Over the same three-year period, highway fund unrestricted fund balance increased by $50,007 (24 percent).

Find out how your government money is spent at Open Book New York. Track municipal spending, the state's 150,000 contracts, billions in state payments and public authority data. Visit the Reading Room for contract FOIL requests, bid protest decisions and commonly requested data.

 


Albany Phone: (518) 474-4015 Fax: (518) 473-8940
NYC Phone: (212) 383-1388 Fax: (212) 681-7677
Internet: www.osc.state.ny.us
E-Mail: press@osc.state.ny.us