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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 Barton – Financial Planning (2015M-52)


Released: July 31, 2015 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to assess the Board’s financial planning practices for the period January 1, 2013 through October 28, 2014.

Background

The Town of Barton is located in Tioga County and has a population of approximately 8,900 residents. The Town is governed by an elected five-member Town Board. The Town’s 2015 annual budget is over $2.3 million.

Key Findings

  • Board members budgeted similar amounts from year to year for specific line items, without considering historical trends.
  • The Board did not properly plan for the future by establishing adequate budgets and setting long-term plans.
  • The Board also did not establish a level of acceptable fund balance or properly use money in the town-wide highway equipment reserve.

Key Recommendations

  • Review sufficient historical trends of actual revenues and expenditures when determining amounts to be budgeted for each revenue and appropriation line.
  • Develop and adopt long-term financial plans.
  • Develop and adopt fund balance threshold amounts to be maintained and then only budget for the use of fund balance to maintain those amounts. Also, develop guidance on the funding and use of each of their reserves.

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