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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 Busti – Taxpayer Equity (2015M-349)


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

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine whether Town officials were properly budgeting and allocating highway department expenditures for the period January 1, 2014 through October 21, 2015.

Background

The Town of Busti is located in Chautauqua County and has a population of approximately 7,350. The Town, which is governed by a five-member Town Board, includes the Village of Lakewood within its borders. Budgeted appropriations for the highway fund for 2015 totaled approximately $1.1 million.

Key Findings

  • In 2014, Town officials did not properly budget for or allocate approximately $135,000 in highway equipment purchases between the town-wide and town-outside-village highway funds.
  • The Town unnecessarily increased tax rates for residents within the Village and lowered tax rates for residents outside of the Village.

Key Recommendations

  • Review statutory requirements relating to the allocation of highway expenditures and adopt budgets that include revenues and appropriations allocated in the proper funds.
  • Correct prior year accounting errors relating to the improper recording of financial activity between the town-wide and town-outside-village highway funds to correct taxpayer inequity.

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