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October 4, 2010

 

DiNapoli's Office Completes Audit of Real Property Tax Collections and Remittances in Warren County



New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed the audit: Real Property Tax Collections and Remittances in Warren County – Summary and related letters

“My office’s audits of local governments improve their financial management practices,” DiNapoli said. “These audits are tools for local officials to make sure proper policies and procedures are in place to protect taxpayer dollars. Collecting officers in towns located in Warren County were not fully aware of the tax receipt transmittal requirements and other related matters. To address this issue, collecting officers should understand all statutory requirements related to recording, depositing, collecting, and remitting tax collections to the supervisor and the county.”

DiNapoli’s auditors found that eight out of nine collecting officers deposited tax collections on a timely basis and one collector made numerous bank deposit errors and did not reconcile tax collection bank accounts.  However, DiNapoli’s auditors found that only three of the nine collecting officers (from Chester, Queensbury and Warrensburg) remitted tax receipts properly. Of the remaining six collecting officers, only one remitted tax collections timely and/or in full to the supervisors, and none of the six remitted tax collections timely and/or in full to the county. As a result, tax collections were not always available to supervisors when they should have been.

Delays in remitting collections to the county treasurer also contributed to the county’s cash flow problems. In February 2009, the county had to issue $4.5 million in tax anticipation notes (TANs) so it could pay bills and other obligations through April 2009. Although the county repaid the TANs in April after receiving tax collections from collecting officers, issuing the short-term debt cost the county $2,200 in issuance fees and $31,100 in interest expense.

Click here for a link to the complete audit

Links to related letters:

If you have any questions, or would like a comment from the Comptroller’s press office regarding this audit, please call 518-474-4015, or send an email to press@osc.state.ny.us.


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