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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Village of Suffern – Budget Review (B8-15-13)


Released: May 22, 2015 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Budget Review

The purpose of our budget review was to provide an independent evaluation of the Village of Suffern’s proposed budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

Background

The Village of Suffern, located in Rockland County, has adopted a budget for fiscal year 2015-16 of approximately $17.9 million.

Key Findings

  • Significant revenue and expenditure projections in the adopted budget are reasonable.
  • The adopted budget relies on a 16 percent property tax increase to finance the general fund budget deficiencies because there are no other sources available to reduce the property tax levy, such as fund balance.
  • For 2013-14, there were unassigned fund deficits of approximately $2.4 million in the general fund, $1.2 million in the water fund and $1.7 million in the sewer fund.
  • Projected financial results for the water fund for 2014-15 show a surplus of about $209,000, which, along with a rate increase, could eventually eliminate the water fund’s deficit.
  • Projected financial results for the sewer fund for 2014-15 show a deficit of about $111,000, which will further increase the fund’s deficit. The adopted budget increased sewer rates by 5 percent to generate future operating surpluses.
  • The Board adopted a local law which allows the Village to override the tax levy limitation.

Key Recommendations

  • Amend the proposed budget or adopt a local law overriding the tax levy limit before adopting the proposed budget.
  • Adopt a resolution to use the tax stabilization reserve to lessen the real property tax levy.

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