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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Town of Holland - Real Property Tax Exemptions (2018M-232)

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 60 agricultural, veteran, disability and senior citizen exemptions totaling $2.5 million, on properties with a total assessed value of $16.4 million.

  • Twenty-seven exemptions totaling $1.5 million were not properly supported by adequate documentation.
  • The Assessor allowed what appear to be ineligible agricultural woodland exemptions totaling $91,000 on 269 acres.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure all applicants provide adequate supporting documentation before granting exemptions and then retain this documentation.
  • Periodically monitor exemptions to ensure they comply with State or local laws.

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

Background

The Town of Holland (Town) is located in Erie County (County) and has a population of approximately 3,300. The Town is governed by an elected five-member Town Board (Board) composed of the Town Supervisor (Supervisor) and four Council members. The Board is responsible for overseeing Town operations and finances.

The Board-appointed Assessor is responsible for granting and tracking real property tax exemptions (exemptions) authorized by State and local laws.

Quick Facts
Agricultural, Senior Citizen, Veteran and Disability Exemptions
Number of Properties301
Assessment Value$45 million
Number of Exemptions369
Exemption Value$9.8 million

Audit Period

January 1, 2017 – September 7, 2018

We extended our audit scope period for certain exemptions back to when initial application was made, and reviewed original applications, supporting documentation and local laws.


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