“In today’s fiscal climate, budget transparency and accountability for our local communities is a top priority,” said DiNapoli. “By auditing municipal finances and operations, my office continues to provide taxpayers the assurance that their money is being spent appropriately and effectively.”
The significant revenue and expenditure projections in the tentative budget for the general, electric, library and parking funds are reasonable. The water and sewer funds’ tentative budgets are not balanced and include deficits of $257,000 and $155,000. Village officials plan to raise water and sewer rates to make up the difference. The village’s tentative budget exceeds the property tax levy limit.
The significant revenue and expenditure projections in the preliminary budget are reasonable. However, based on the 2015-16 proposed budget, the village will have exhausted 91 percent of its taxing authority. The village’s ability to rely on real property taxes as an increased revenue source in the future is limited. The village’s preliminary budget complies with the property tax levy limit.
Police department overtime costs and overtime hours have steadily increased over the last several years. In addition, fire department time and attendance records were not always accurately maintained.
The prior town justice did not accurately record and report money to the Justice Court Fund in a timely manner. Additionally, the prior justice did not prepare monthly bank reconciliations, properly account for bail money held by the court or accurately report fines and surcharges to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
The board did not properly manage the town’s general fund balance from 2011 through 2014. As a result, the board accumulated general fund balance while raising taxes. However, beginning with the 2015 budget, the board plans to reduce the general fund balance to benefit taxpayers.
For access to state and local government spending and nearly 50,000 state contracts, visit OpenBookNY. The easy-to-use website was created by Comptroller DiNapoli to promote openness in government and provide taxpayers with better access to the financial workings of government.