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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Town of Lyons - Real Property Tax Exemptions Administration (2018M-216)

Released: February 1, 2019 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Assessor properly administered select real property tax exemptions.

Key Findings

We reviewed properties with 108 agricultural, non-profit and not-for-profit, senior citizen, veteran and other exemptions.

The Assessor:

  • Granted exemptions without applications, renewal forms or supporting documentation.
  • Granted an ineligible exemption and did not correctly calculate granted exemptions.
  • Did not report the transfer of property with exemptions to the County as required.

The Board:

  • Did not establish, by local law or resolution, one granted exemption.

Key Recommendations

The Assessor should:

  • Ensure granted exemptions are authorized, supported, accurately calculated and continue to meet eligibility requirements.
  • Report the transfer of property with exemptions to the County to ensure the new owner is billed for the prorated share of taxes.

The Board should:

  • Ensure all exemptions are established by local law or resolution.

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

Background

The Town of Lyons is located in Wayne County (County). The Town is governed by an elected Town Board (Board) composed of the Town Supervisor and four Board members.

The Board-appointed Town Assessor (Assessor), is responsible for granting and monitoring real property tax exemptions within the Town’s boundaries. The Assessor determines the assessed values of properties for the assessment roll, which is then used to create the tax bills for the following year’s tax rolls. The Assessor must retain documentation to prove that properties are eligible for exemptions.

Quick Facts
2017 Total Parcels2,579
2017 Total Exemptions1,926
2017 Town Taxable Assessed Value$191 million

Audit Period

January 1, 2017 – July 3, 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