Town of Hempstead – Budgeting (2021M-169)

Issued Date
February 25, 2022

[read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine if the Town of Hempstead (Town) Board (Board) adopted realistic budgets and effectively monitored budgetary performance.

Key Findings

The Board did not adopt realistic and appropriate budgets and the Town’s preliminary budgets for 2017-2020 fiscal years did not include the fund balance estimates required by Town Law. Town officials also did not effectively monitor the annual budgets.

  • Town officials levied $37.6 million more in taxes than was necessary to fund budgeted expenditures, over the four-year audit period for the six major funds reviewed.
  • Town officials failed to monitor the annual budget timely, resulting in the Board approving significant budget adjustments totaling $69.1 million between nine and eleven months after the year end.

Key Recommendations

  • Present budget estimates in a realistic and transparent manner, and show fund balance estimates for each fund, with the required breakdown.
  • Properly budget for salaries and wages.
  • Monitor the budget throughout the year and make necessary budget amendments prior to a budget line becoming over expended.

Town officials disagreed with certain findings and recommendations in our report. Appendix B includes our comments on the issues raised in the Town’s response.