|Final Audit Report|
August 5, 2016— The Cohoes City School District received its final report from the New York State Comptroller’s Office summarizing findings of an audit on the district’s fiscal operations from July 2012 through June 2015. The examination resulted in no findings of material weakness, operational improprieties, waste or abuse. The audit report did indicate that the school district’s unrestricted fund balance exceeded the statutory limit of 4 percent, and ranged from 5.5 to 7.6 percent of the ensuing year’s budget appropriations.
The unrestricted fund balance was over the limit during the audit time period primarily due to under-spending budgeted funds and the implementation of various cost-savings initiatives.
Total Budget: $41,425,588
Spending Increase: 2.82%
Tax Levy Increase: 0%
New York’s Property Tax Freeze Credit was signed into law in April 2014 as part of the 2014-15 New York state budget. The measure is designed as a short-term tax relief program that reimburses qualifying New York homeowners (outside of New York City) for increases in local property taxes on their primary residences.
In 2014-15 and 2015-16, Cohoes residents qualified for the credit.
New York’s Smart Schools Bond Act was approved by voters in November 2014. The $2 billion bond act is intended to provide school districts with funding for new educational technology and infrastructure improvements to enhance learning opportunities for all students across the state.
When Cohoes voters head to the polls to vote on the school budget each year, they cast votes for a budget plan shaped in part by a law known to many as the Property Tax Cap. Approved by the State Legislature in 2011, this complex law is intended to provide much needed property tax relief.
The tax levy is the total amount of money the school district raises in property taxes. Actual tax rates are dependent on several factors including assessment practices and equalization rates.
Tax rates are not set until July — after the state certifies assessment rolls for the properties in the city of Cohoes. Tax bills are sent out in September after this process has concluded. The school district has no control over assessment practices — and does not collect more in taxes than the amount it levies.
Stacy Mackey, School Business Official
7 Bevan Street, Cohoes NY 12047