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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Valhalla Union Free School District – Financial Condition (2015M-333)


Released: March 25, 2016 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to evaluate the District’s financial condition for the period July 1, 2013 through September 30, 2015.

Background

The Valhalla Union Free School District serves parts of the Towns of Greenburgh, Mount Pleasant and North Castle in Westchester County. The District, which operates four school with approximately 1,520 students, is governed by an elected seven-member Board of Education. Budgeted appropriations for the 2015-16 fiscal year are approximately $47 million.

Key Findings

  • The Board and District officials overestimated certain expenditure items for four consecutive fiscal years and underestimated revenues in two of the four fiscal years, creating cumulative operating surpluses of over $7.9 million.
  • The balances of two reserves – the unemployment insurance reserve and the retirement contribution reserve – were more than the potential costs and had not been used for their established purposes since being established in 2011.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop realistic budgets based on the prior year’s actual results and anticipated operating costs and avoid raising more real property taxes than necessary.
  • Use the excess reserve funds identified in this report in a manner that benefits District residents. These purposes include using the reserve funds for their established purpose and transferring excess reserve funds to unrestricted fund balance, where allowed by law, or to other, necessary reserves established and maintained in compliance with statutory directives.

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