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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Town of Moravia - Real Property Tax Exemptions Administration (2018M-215)

Released: February 8, 2019 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

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

Key Findings

We reviewed properties with 85 agricultural, nonprofit, senior citizen, veteran and other exemptions. The Assessor did not:

  • Ensure that 68 of 85 (80 percent) granted exemptions we reviewed, contained the required applications, renewal forms or supporting documentation to verify eligibility for the exemption or accuracy of exemption calculations.
  • Correctly calculate granted exemptions.
  • Report the transfer of four properties with agricultural exemptions to the County and did not require new owners of these properties to submit a new application as required.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure granted exemptions are authorized, supported, accurately calculated and continue to meet eligibility requirements.
  • Report the transfer of property with agricultural exemptions to the County and ensure exemptions are granted after the new owners apply.

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

Background

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

The Board entered into an agreement with the County for the Town Assessor (Assessor) to be an employee of the County Office of Real Property Tax Services. The Board-appointed 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 that properties are eligible for exemptions.

Quick Facts
2017 Number of Parcels1,449
2017 Exemptions982
2017 Total Taxable Assessed Value$144.5 million

Audit Period

January 1, 2017 – July 11, 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