Town of Stanford – Financial Management (2021M-130)

Issued Date
September 24, 2021

[read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Town of Stanford (Town) Board properly managed the Town’s financial condition and adopted realistic budgets.

Key Findings

The Board did not properly manage the Town’s financial condition and did not adopt realistic budgets.

The Board:

  • Adopted an unbalanced 2020 budget that was missing information and misleading, which resulted in a 58 percent decrease in real property taxes.
  • Adopted a 2021 budget with a $749,159 increase in the tax levy over the prior year and levied more taxes than necessary to fund general fund operations.
  • Exceeded its fund balance policy limit by $645,366.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt balanced budgets and ensure that the budgets are transparent and include all necessary information.
  • Ensure that estimated revenues and appropriations are reasonable and based on historical data or known trends.

Town officials generally agreed with our recommendations and have initiated or indicated they planned to initiate corrective action. Appendix B includes our comments on an issue that was raised in the Town’s response letter.