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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Town of Athens - Town Clerk/Tax Collector (2018M-41)

Released: June 8, 2018 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Town Clerk/Tax Collector (Clerk) maintained adequate records and properly deposited and remitted money in a timely manner.

Key Findings

  • Real property taxes totaling nearly $2.2 million in 2016 and $1.3 million in 2017 were not always remitted to the Supervisor and County Treasurer (Treasurer) in a timely manner. For example, the Clerk collected tax payments totaling $774,127 during the first three weeks of January 2016 but remitted these collections to the Supervisor between four to six weeks later.
  • Clerk fees and real property taxes were not always deposited within the required timeframes. Clerk fees collected during five months of our audit period totaling $11,179 were deposited from between one to 33 days after receipt. In 2016, the Clerk deposited $37,036 in real property taxes from between one to 24 days after receipt.
  • Bank reconciliations were not always prepared or accurate.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that all collections are deposited and remitted in a timely manner.
  • Ensure that bank reconciliations are prepared each month.

Town officials agreed with our recommendations and indicated they planned to initiate corrective action.

Background

The Town of Athens is located in Greene County. The Town is governed by an elected Town Board (Board), which is comprised of a Town Supervisor (Supervisor) and four Board members. The Board is responsible for the general management and control of Town finances including overseeing the Clerk’s cash collection activities.

The elected Clerk collects fees for birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, building permits, dog licenses and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation licenses.

The Clerk also serves as the elected Town Tax Collector and is responsible for collecting Town and County real property taxes and remitting taxes collected to either the Supervisor or Treasurer.

Quick Facts
Population4,089
2017 Real Property Taxes Collected$3 million
Fees Collected for the Audit Period$3,614

Audit Period

January 1, 2016 – August 4, 2017


Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

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