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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Lansing Fire District – Financial Condition (2013M-80)


Released: July 5, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the District’s financial condition for the period January 1, 2008, to December 31, 2012.

Background

The Lansing Fire District is a district corporation of the State, distinct and separate from the Town of Lansing and the County of Tompkins in which it is located. The Board of Fire Commissioners (Board) consists of five elected members, with one member being appointed as Chairman. The District’s 2013 budget appropriations are approximately $1.4 million, which are funded primarily with real property taxes.

Key Findings

  • The District’s budgets from fiscal years 2008 through 2012 were unrealistic. Total expenditures during this period were approximately $777,000 less than appropriations. These unrealistic budgets caused total fund balance to increase significantly.
  • At the end of 2012, total fund balance was nearly double the ensuing year’s appropriations, and total fund balance is projected to remain above 100 percent of the subsequent year’s appropriations through 2031. The District continues to raise taxes unnecessarily even though it has excessive fund balance.

Key Recommendations

  • Use the surplus fund balance identified in this report in a manner that benefits District taxpayers. Establish realistic revenue and expenditure assumptions in its budget and adjust them accordingly as circumstances change.
  • Establish a reasonable fund balance target based on the District’s needs, and adjust its plan as necessary to reach its target fund balance.

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