Determine whether the Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School District (District) Board of Education (Board) and officials effectively managed fund balance.
The Board and District officials did not effectively manage the District’s fund balance. As a result, the District levied more taxes than needed to fund operations.
- The Board overestimated appropriations from 2018-19 through 2020-21 by an average of $2.8 million, or 6.6 percent, and appropriated fund balance that was not used.
- The District’s surplus fund balance exceeded the 4 percent statutory limit in each of the last three fiscal years by 4.8 to 10.1 percentage points.
- Three of the District’s reserves were not reasonably funded or used in the last three years.
- Maintaining reserves that were not used and surplus fund balance that exceeded the statutory limit resulted in real property tax levies being higher than necessary.
- Adopt realistic budgets and appropriate fund balance only when needed to fund operations.
- Reduce surplus fund balance to comply with the statutory limit in a manner beneficial to taxpayers.
- Adopt a written reserve policy that establishes optimal or targeted funding levels.
District officials generally agreed with our findings and recommendations and indicated they will take corrective action. Appendix B includes our comments on issues raised in the District’s response letter.