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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of Afton – Budgeting Practices (2013M-304)


Released: December 20, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the Town’s budgeting practices for the period January 1, 2012 to August 22, 2013.

Background

The Town of Afton is located in Chenango County and has a population of 2,851 residents. The Town is governed by an elected five-member Town Board comprising the Town Supervisor and four council members. The Town’s 2013 budget appropriations were $956,000.

Key Findings

  • The Board adopted budgets that did not accurately estimate the Town’s operational needs. Specifically, we found that large capital purchases and improvements during the last five completed fiscal years were not budgeted for and the associated means of financing were not considered. Town officials purchased approximately $262,000 of equipment and spent $503,333 on capital improvements to Town facilities. Additionally, in the current fiscal year over $590,000 was spent on the highway garage that the Board also did not budget for.
  • We reviewed budgets for the last five completed fiscal years and found that not only did the Board not budget for larger expenditures, but they also did not consider historical information while preparing the budget for the next year. These poor budgeting practices led to operating deficits in certain years for the various funds.

Key Recommendations

  • Budget for future capital items including the cost and financing source.
  • Adopt realistic budgets that consider both historical trends and future needs.

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