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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Taconic Hills Central School District – Financial Management (2019M-155)

Released: October 25, 2019 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Board and District officials adopted realistic budgets to maintain fund balance within the statutory required limit.

Key Findings

  • The Board overestimated appropriations by a total of $12.6 million from 2013-14 through 2017-18.
  • As of June 30, 2018, surplus fund balance totaled approximately $6.5 million, exceeding the statutory limit by 13 percentage points.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt budgets with reasonable estimates for revenues and appropriations and the amount of fund balance that will be used to fund operations.
  • Reduce the amount of surplus fund balance to comply with the statutory limit and use the excess funds in a manner more beneficial to taxpayers.


The Taconic Hills Central School District (District) serves the Village of Philmont and the Towns of Ancram, Austerlitz, Claverack, Copake, Gallatin, Ghent, Hillsdale, Livingston and Taghkanic in Columbia County and the Town of Northeast in Dutchess County.

The District is governed by a Board of Education (Board) composed of nine members, including a President, Vice President and seven Board members. The Board is responsible for the management and control of financial and educational affairs.

The Superintendent of Schools is the chief executive officer responsible for day-to-day management. The Business Manager (Manager) is responsible for managing financial activities, including the budget.

Quick Facts
2017-18 Expenditures$37.3 million
2018-19 Appropriations$38.8 million

Audit Period

July 1, 2017 – April 11, 2019

We extended our audit period back to July 1, 2013 to review fund balance trends and reserve fund activity.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236