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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Town of Eden - Real Property Tax Exemptions (2018M-231)

Released: March 15, 2019 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether select real property tax exemptions are properly supported by adequate documentation.

Key Findings

We reviewed 58 out of 765 agricultural, veteran and senior citizen exemptions, totaling $2.9 million, on properties with a total assessed value of $7.7 million. The Assessors:

  • Granted or subsequently maintained 20 exemptions totaling over $1.4 million that were not properly supported by adequate documentation.
  • Did not periodically monitor exemptions or obtain annual renewal documentation as required, to ensure the exemptions were in compliance with State or local laws.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure all applicants provide adequate supporting documentation before granting exemptions and then retain this documentation.
  • Periodically monitor exemptions and ensure annual renewal documentation is provided when required.

Town officials generally agreed with our findings. Appendix C includes our comment on issues raised in the Town’s response letter.

Background

The Town of Eden (Town) is located in Erie County (County) and has a population of approximately 7,700. The Town is governed by an elected five-member Town Board (Board), composed of the Town Supervisor (Supervisor) and four Board members. The Board is responsible for the general oversight of operations and finances.

Town residents elect a three-member Board of Assessors (Assessors), who are responsible for granting and tracking the Town’s real property tax exemptions (exemptions) authorized under State and local laws.

Quick Facts
Total Agricultural, Veteran and Senior Citizen Exemptions
Number of Properties750
Assessment Value$74 million
Number of Exemptions960a
Exemption Value$18 million
a Many properties have multiple exemptions.

Audit Period

January 1, 2017 – August 31, 2018


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