Westchester County - Financial Condition (2018M-151)

Issued Date
October 23, 2018

[read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether County officials effectively managed the County's financial condition to ensure the sustainability of current and future operations.

Key Findings

The County has:

  • Experienced planned operating deficits totaling $81.1 million over the last five years. Financial condition continued to decline in 2017 when it experienced an operating deficit of $32.2 million in the general fund.
  • Cash balances that have declined by 54 percent during the audit period, from $180.2 million in 2013 to $83.7 million in 2017.
  • A debt service obligation of $159.8 million in 2017 (7.6 percent of the budget), an increase of $25.1 million (18.6 percent) since 2013. These obligations included $11.8 million in recurring operating expenditures over the past five years that were underbudgeted for in the 2015 and 2017 annual budgets.
  • The general fund owes the sewer funds approximately $50 million.

Key Recommendations

  • Increase recurring revenues or decrease recurring expenditures so that perations are financed on a sustainable basis.
  • Take measures to help ensure adequate fund balance and cash flow to phase out reliance on short-term debt and advances from other funds.
  • Discontinue the practice of using one-time revenues to finance recurring expenditures.
  • Repay the advances made from the sewer funds to the general fund.