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Chatham Board of Education approves plan in response to audit

Jan 21, 2016 6:30 am

Gail Heinsohn is reporting in the Chatham Courier the Chatham school board has approved a written corrective plan created by school officials in response to a district audit by the Office of the New York State Comptroller in October. In that response, the district disputed the comptroller's assertion that the amount of cash held in the reserve fund was excessive. Instead, the district said, the reserves are necessary. The comptroller found Chatham taxpayers paid higher than necessary real estate taxes because school officials overestimated expenditures. It also found the Chatham district's property tax levy was approximately $400,000 more than necessary. This led to accruing reserve funds that nearly doubled, to almost $6 million, in four years. The audit also faulted the district for failing to have a detailed written plan for the reserves. In response to the Comptroller's recommendation that realistic spending estimates be adopted, the board said it builds contingencies into district budgets to allow for unexpected expenses. The district did agree to create a written plan for use of the reserve funds. Heinsohn said, based on the district response to the audit, Chatham taxpayers should not expect any cuts to their school taxes. Read the full story in the Chatham Courier.

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