City of Niagara Falls – Financial Condition (2017M-170)

Issued Date
September 15, 2017

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the City’s financial condition for the period January 1, 2015 through June 30, 2017.


The City of Niagara Falls is located in Niagara County and encompasses approximately 17 square miles. The City Council, composed of five elected members, has legislative responsibility for the City’s operations, and the Mayor, along with the City Administrator and department heads, is responsible for managing City operations. The City’s adopted general fund budget for 2017 was approximately $93 million.

Key Findings

  • From fiscal years 2014 through 2017, City officials balanced budget gaps using primarily casino revenue, averaging $9 million, and fund balance, averaging $2.9 million.
  • By the end of 2017, we project that the City will deplete available fund balance.
  • City officials did not have an updated comprehensive multiyear financial plan.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt realistic budgets in which recurring expenditures are funded by recurring revenues.
  • Rebuild unrestricted fund balance in accordance with the City’s policy.
  • Develop and regularly update a comprehensive written multiyear financial plan that includes realistic measures for rebuilding fund balance levels.