New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced the following audits were issued:
The board and supervisor did not provide adequate oversight of non-payroll disbursements. As a result, there is an increased risk that errors or irregularities could occur and remain undetected and uncorrected. Specifically, town officials did not segregate the bookkeeper’s duties or implement critical controls. In addition, the board could improve its annual audit of the supervisor’s records and reports.
The board did not establish long-term financial and capital plans or fund balance and reserve policies. Therefore, the board lacks important tools to project current and future operating and capital needs and has not outlined its intentions for financing future capital improvements or equipment purchases. Auditors reviewed the town’s capital assets and found that 15 of the 27 pieces of major highway equipment were beyond their optimal useful life and some of the equipment had observable damage. A lack of properly functioning highway equipment contributed to the town being unable to use more than $73,000 of available state funding as of the end of 2021.
The board and clerk-treasurer did not properly monitor selected financial activities. As a result, total general fund balance for fiscal year-end 2021-22 was overstated by $571,719, the transparency of village financial operations was compromised, and taxpayers were not assured the board was effectively monitoring airport operations and financial condition. For the past five years, the total airport operating deficits exceeded $293,000. In addition, delinquent taxes totaling $575,182 date back to fiscal year 2011-12 and officials cannot identify which taxpayers owe $60,452 of that total. General fund assets were also overstated by $288,510 and liabilities by $434,929 in fiscal year 2021-22. Lastly, two capital project funds and three community development funds have negative fund balances that may require a transfer from the general fund to pay remaining liabilities. About $700,000 of the village’s $1 million fund balance may be needed to satisfy the liabilities.
Some revenue and expenditure projections in the proposed budget are unreasonable. Furthermore, officials’ continued practice of using debt to pay for recurring costs is imprudent. The review found the city’s proposed budget continues to rely on $112.3 million in nonrecurring revenue, such as appropriated fund balance, one-time state funding and the sale of property to finance its operations. In addition, the budget includes revenue estimates for income tax surcharge, sales and use tax as well as city and state mortgage tax that may not be achievable. The budget also includes $8.5 million for contractual settlements; five of the city’s eight union collective bargaining agreements have expired or will expire soon and the city could face additional expenditures when these contracts are settled.
The city’s proposed budget also includes the Yonkers Public School District’s budget. The review found the district’s proposed budget is structurally unbalanced with a budget gap of at least $33 million and overestimates state funding for basic aid by approximately $1.2 million. The budget also relies on $12 million of additional state aid for services and expenditures which may not be available in future years and does not include a specific appropriation for contractual settlements.