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State audit critical of Washingtonville budget process

ALBANY After reviewing the Village of Washingtonville’s tentative 2024–25 budget, the State Comptroller’s Office discovered several shortcomings.According to the law, the village cannot issue debt worth more than $4.5 million in order to pay off the principal balance of any outstanding budget, deficiency, and/or revenue anticipation notes as well as the cumulative (actual) deficits in the general fund, water fund, sewer fund, and capital projects fund as of May 31, 2023.

Among the audit’s main conclusions are:

  • The scope of the review was significantly limited by the lack of complete, accurate, and current accounting records maintained by the Village. Specifically, the Village does not maintain up-to-date budget-to-actual reports to aid in the monitoring of its fiscal performance. The Village also does not maintain an up-to-date debt schedule.
  • The 2024-25 tentative budget includes sewer meter rents revenue of $1.6 million, Orange County sales tax revenue of $1.2 million, and water meter rents revenue of $1.1 million. Auditors were unable to project the amount the Village will receive in the 2024-25 fiscal year as most of revenue has not been posted in the financial software for 2022-23 or 2023-24.
  • The 2024-25 tentative budget includes personal services of $3.4 million, employee benefits of $1.8 million, retirement expenditures of $675,000 and debt service of $542,000. Auditors were unable to project the amount the village may expend, as the village did not provide salary schedules and most of the expenditures have not been posted in the financial software for 2022-23 or 2023-24.
  • The 2024-25 tentative budget includes a $100,000 general fund contingency and a $20,000 water fund contingency. There is no contingency for the sewer fund. Given the potential cost overruns from current economic conditions and the lack of complete, accurate, and current accounting and financial records, the board needs to consider whether the contingency appropriations are adequate and appropriate for unanticipated events and uncertainties.
  • The 2024-25 tentative budget includes a tax levy of $4.7 million. Similar to the revenue and expenditure estimates, the lack of complete, accurate, and current accounting and financial records precludes us from concluding on the village s tax cap compliance.

Principal Suggestions:

  • Adopt a budget that includes a tax levy no greater than the tax levy limit (tax cap) unless a local law is adopted to override the limit.
  • Review the estimates for sewer meter rents, Orange County sales tax and water meter rents and amend as necessary.
  • Review the estimate for personal services, employee benefits, retirement and debt service and amend as necessary.
  • Review the estimate for contingency and adjust it to an appropriate level if needed


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