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Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Bolton Central School District – Financial Condition (2013M-58)


Released: May 31, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the District’s financial condition for the period July 1, 2009, to November 30, 2012.

Background

The Bolton Central School District is located in Warren County. The District is governed by the Board of Education which comprises seven elected members. The District’s budgeted expenditures for the 2012-13 fiscal year were $8.7 million.

Key Findings

  • Although the Board adopted budgets that were realistic and supported for revenues, expenditures were consistently and significantly overestimated. In addition, although the Board appropriated more than $690,000 of unexpended surplus funds each year, for a total exceeding $2.1 million over a three-year period to help finance the ensuing year’s operations, the District actually used only $266,732 of the fund balance during this period. As a result, the District has accumulated considerable unexpended surplus funds up to four times the amount allowed by statute.
  • The District has developed a multiyear financial plan. However, the plan does not reduce the excessive unexpended surplus funds in a manner that benefits the taxpayers.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop and adopt budgets that include realistic estimates for expenditures based on contractual and historical data. Discontinue the practice of adopting budgets that result in the appropriation of unexpended surplus funds that will not be used and ensure that unexpended surplus fund amounts are within statutory limits.
  • Develop a multiyear plan that addresses the use of unexpended surplus funds in a manner that benefits District taxpayers.

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