Town of Carlisle – Fund Balance (2017M-106)

Issued Date
November 20, 2017

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to evaluate the Town’s fund balance management for the period January 1, 2016 through February 7, 2017.


The Town of Carlisle is located in Schoharie County and has a population of approximately 2,000. The Town is governed by an elected five-member Town Board. Budgeted appropriations for the general and highway funds for 2017 totaled $827,305.

Key Findings

  • The Board has not developed a fund balance policy or comprehensive long-term financial and capital plans specifying the Town’s objectives and goals for using the accumulated funds.
  • General fund balance totaled $623,000 at the end of 2016, more than 950 percent of the tax levy and approximately three times actual expenditures that year.
  • The Board increased real property taxes to finance operations and its conservative budgeting practices nullified its plan to spend fund balance as intended.

Key Recommendations

  • Determine a reasonable and acceptable level for fund balances for all Town funds, and adopt a fund balance policy that reflects these levels and long-term financial and capital plans that specify the Town’s objectives and goals for using accumulated funds.
  • Use general surplus funds as a financing source for funding one-time expenditures, funding needed reserves or reducing real property taxes.
  • Adopt budget estimates that reflect realistic operating needs based on historical or other known trends.