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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

City of Troy – Budget Review (B5-15-22)


Released: November 10, 2015 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Budget Review

The purpose of our budget review was to determine whether the significant revenue and expenditure projections in the City’s proposed budget for the 2016 fiscal year are reasonable.

Background

The City of Troy, located in Rensselaer County, issued debt totaling $21,630,000 to liquidate cumulative deficits in the City’s general fund for the years ending December 31, 1993, 1994 and 1995. Local Finance Law requires all local governments that have been authorized to issue obligations to fund operating deficits to submit their tentative budgets for the next fiscal year to the State Comptroller for review while the deficit obligations are outstanding.

Key Findings

  • The City’s proposed budget includes estimated revenues related to the sale of real property, franchise fees, sales tax and advanced life support charges which may not be realized.
  • Appropriations for retirement system contributions may not be sufficient in the proposed budget.
  • The City’s 2015 proposed budget does not appropriate enough money for contingencies to provide adequate flexibility to pay for unanticipated costs.
  • The City’s 2015 proposed budget continues to provide minimal funding for equipment and capital outlay.
  • Appropriations for debt service payments for debt that the City has not issues are included in the proposed budget.
  • The City’s proposed budget is not in compliance with the tax levy limit and City officials have not adopted a local law to override the limit.

Key Recommendations

  • The City should review revenue estimates for the sale of real property, franchise fees, sales tax and advanced life support charges and make modifications as necessary.
  • The City should review the appropriations for retirement system contributions and make modifications to provide funding to pay the estimated amounts.
  • City officials should budget appropriately for contingencies.
  • City officials should identify reliable funding sources for capital expenditures and include these funding sources in their operating budgets.
  • Review the appropriations for debt service payments and take appropriate action.
  • Be mindful of the legal requirement to maintain the tax levy increase to no more than the tax levy limit as permitted by law, unless adopting a local law to override the cap.

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