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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller

Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits

March 29, 2019

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced the following local government audits have been issued.

Bowmansville Volunteer Fire Association, Inc. – Financial Management (Erie County)
Company officials did not adequately safeguard cash assets. Consequently, there is a significant risk that funds were possibly misspent, possibly misused or improper. This amount included debit withdrawals ($67,303) and check payments ($78,441) to questionable businesses in which there was no evidence that they provided any services to the company.

Town of Cortlandville – Improving Private Property (Cortland County)
Town officials inappropriately spent $22,600 to improve and maintain a Board member’s property with no lease agreement in place. The work performed raises potential issues under The New York State Constitution, because no contract was in place at the time. The constitution generally prohibits the expenditure of town money for the benefit of private parties. Typically, a town would need a leasehold interest, or at least a license for town use, to spend funds to improve private property.

Town of Eden – Real Property Tax Exemptions (Erie County)
Auditors reviewed 58 out of 765 (8 percent) agricultural, veterans and senior citizen exemptions, totaling $2.9 million, on properties with a total assessed value of $7.7 million and found that 20 exemptions (34 percent), totaling $1.4 million, were not properly supported by adequate documentation to establish and/or maintain exemption eligibility.

Town of Elba – Real Property Tax Exemptions (Genesee County)
Auditors reviewed 91 (15 percent) out of approximately 600 agricultural, veteran and senior citizen exemptions totaling $6 million, on properties with a total assessed value of $15.5 million. They found that the Assessor granted or subsequently maintained 81 (89 percent) exemptions totaling $5.7 million that were not supported by adequate documentation. The Assessor also did not periodically monitor exemptions or obtain annual renewal documentation as required, to ensure the exemptions remained in compliance with state or local laws.

Town of Holland – Real Property Tax Exemptions (Erie County)
Auditors reviewed 60 out of 369 (16 percent) agricultural, veterans, disability and senior citizen exemptions totaling $2.5 million, on properties with a total assessed value of $16.4 million and found that 27 exemptions (45 percent), totaling approximately $1.5 million, were not properly supported by adequate documentation to establish and/or maintain exemption eligibility.

Town of Milan – Town Clerk/Tax Collector (Dutchess County) 
The Town Clerk did not always remit real property taxes totaling $3.1 million in 2017 and $3.0 million in 2018 to the town supervisor and county treasurer in a timely manner. For example, in 2017 the Clerk collected $929,290 from January 20, 2017 through February 8, 2017 before remitting any funds to the supervisor. Similarly, in 2018 the Clerk collected $852,219 from December 29, 2017 through February 2, 2018 before remitting any funds to the supervisor.

Town of Queensbury – Information Technology (Warren County)
The purpose of this audit was to determine whether officials ensured the town’s information technology (IT) systems were adequately secured and protected against unauthorized use, access and loss. Auditors found town officials have not implemented comprehensive procedures for managing, limiting, securing and monitoring user access. In addition, they have not monitored compliance with the acceptable use policy, or developed a formal disaster recovery plan.

Town of Queensbury – Water System Cybersecurity (Warren County)
Water officials have not implemented comprehensive procedures for managing, limiting, securing and monitoring user access. Water personnel have also not been provided with job-specific cybersecurity awareness training. In addition, water officials did not prevent or monitor public disclosure of information on the town’s water system. Finally, there are no written policies, procedures, standards or guidelines related to the industrial control system cybersecurity.


Albany Phone: (518) 474-4015 Fax: (518) 473-8940
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Internet: www.osc.state.ny.us
E-Mail: press@osc.state.ny.us