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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Town of Elba - Real Property Tax Exemptions (2018M-261)

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 91 agricultural, veteran and senior citizen exemptions totaling $6 million, on properties with a total assessed value of $15.5 million. The Assessor:

  • Granted or subsequently maintained 81 exemptions totaling $5.7 million that were not supported by adequate documentation.
  • Did not periodically monitor exemptions or obtain annual renewal documentation as required, to ensure the exemptions remained 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 and retained.

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


The Town of Elba (Town) is located in Genesee County (County) and has a population of approximately 2,370. 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 the Town’s operations and finances.

The Town Assessor (Assessor), appointed by the Board, is responsible for granting and tracking the Town’s real property tax exemptions (exemptions) authorized under State and local laws.

Quick Facts
Agricultural, Veteran and Senior Citizen Exemptions
Number of Properties500
Assessment Value$61 million
Number of Exemptions600
Exemption Value$31 million

Audit Period

January 1, 2017 – August 7, 2018

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