State audit criticizes Goshen school district budgeting practices

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ALBANY – The Goshen Central School District overestimated expenditures resulting in 80 percent of the appropriated fund balance it set aside in the 2011-12 through 2015-16 school years going unspent, according to an audit by the state comptroller’s office. That amounted to $3.9 million of the $4.9 million not being used.
District officials feel their budgeting practices are prudent and protect residents from fluctuating tax levies.
The audit also said the school board has not adopted a plan that addresses accumulating and using reserve funds. “Such a plan would help inform district residents about how resources will be used,” the report said. It pointed to the district setting aside $8.5 million at the end of the 2015-16 fiscal year in tax certiorari reserves, but by its calculations, the district overfunded it by $2.1 million.
The auditors recommended that the district use surplus fund balance as a finance source for funding one-time expenditures; funding needed reserves; and reducing property taxes.