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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 Sidney – Budget Review (B4-13-19)


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

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our budget review was to determine whether the significant revenue and expenditure projections in the Town’s preliminary budget for the 2014 fiscal year are reasonable.

Background

The Town of Sidney, located in Delaware County, issued debt totaling $2.5 million to liquidate a portion of the cumulative deficit incurred by the Town due to expenses related to the Town-owned hospital for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2005. Local Finance Law requires all local governments that have been authorized to issue obligations to fund operating deficits to submit their preliminary budgets for the next fiscal year to the State Comptroller for review while the deficit obligations are outstanding.

Key Findings

  • Based on the results of our review, we found that revenue and expenditure projections in the proposed budget are reasonable.
  • The Town is currently reporting accounts payable in the Hospital fund that are related to the hospital which closed in 2005. While the Hospital fund is primarily responsible for the $1.9 million payable, the fund only has approximately $536,000 in current resources available to liquidate the liability. The Town’s total current resources are approximately $1.9 million. Thus, the full liquidation of the liability could significantly impact the Town’s real property tax levy or the current level of services provided. The Town has been reporting the same liability for several years without any changes.
  • The Town has adopted a local law to override the tax levy limit in 2014.

Key Recommendation

  • Determine if the payables are legitimate liabilities and, if not, remove them from the balance sheet.

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