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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 Sardinia – Tax Relief Rebate Program (2014M-189)


Released: November 14, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the Town’s tax relief rebate program for the period August 1, 2013 through June 3, 2014.

Background

The Town of Sardinia, which is governed by a five-member Town Board, is located in Erie County and has approximately 2,800 residents. The Town receives landfill revenues that contributed to the accumulation of a significant amount of fund balance and established by local law a tax relief rebate program in 2013 to provide property owners with a one-time property tax relief payment. Budgeted appropriations for 2014 total approximately $1.8 million.

Key Findings

  • We believe that the Town lacked the authority to issue tax refunds to property owners under its local law establishing a tax relief rebate program without a special act from the State Legislature.
  • The Supervisor reviewed and approved rebate applications without Board oversight.

Key Recommendations

  • Consider seeking special legislation from the State Legislature to validate the local law and the issuance of tax rebate checks to date and do not issue further rebates under this local law without the special legislation and without clarifying eligibility and the application process.
  • Review and approve all claims for payment to ensure that they are supported by sufficient documentation and comply with statutory requirements and Town policies.

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