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Saturday, January 5, 2008

2007 Year-End Transfers...

The first thing that should come to mind when you look at the year-end transfers is the number of accounts that have been overdrawn in 2007. Just about the same number of accounts were overdrawn in 2006; the first year of this administration.

The need to cover overdrawn accounts to this magnitude at the end of each year signifies one of two things. Either the Town of New Hartford budgeting process is flawed or there is little to no control over how taxpayer dollars are being spent.

Getting to the actual transfers...we are going to assume that Mr. Frank Basile, CPA, whose firm is being retained by the Town of New Hartford to help with the budget and other related matters, is probably aware of these 2007 transfers...but, we may be wrong!

Let us give our readers a little history as to how the town of New Hartford budget is set-up. The town budget consists of General Whole-Town, General Whole-town Minus NYM, General Part-Town, Highway Whole-Town, Highway Part-Town, water, fire and several other Special Districts.

We have talked about it before, but to recap, the difference between General Whole-Town and General Whole-town Minus NYM is the tax base. All residents in the Town of New Hartford, including people living in the Villages, are taxed for General Whole-town expenses. Only those people living outside of the Village of NYM are taxed for General Whole-town Minus NYM expenses...these monies are for the operation and maintenance of the New Hartford Police Department. Since the Village of NYM has their own Police Department, Village of NYM residents cannot be taxed for the expenses of the New Hartford Police Department. However, the exception appears to be "...the exemption in section 150(1) does not apply to capital expenses, such as for the acquisition of land or the construction of a building, to support the town police department. See Opinion 2003-6 from the NYS Comptroller's Office.

The General Whole-town Minus NYM consists of budget lines under three (3) areas --Police, Traffic Control and Control of Animals. Residents in the Village of New York Mills who reside in the Town of New Hartford cannot be taxed for any of these budgeted expenses.

Among the five (5) pages of 2007 year-end budget transfers, there are several questionable year-end budget transfers. Look at the spreadsheet. All of the budget lines in red are funded by tax dollars of ALL town residents including Village of NYM residents...General Whole-town. All of the budget lines in black are funded ONLY by residents outside of the Village of NYM tax dollars...General Whole-town Minus NYM.

Using left-over monies in General Whole-town budget lines to offset overdrafts in General Whole-town Minus NYM accounts is extremely questionable, if not illegal. How can you use the tax dollars of one tax base to offset the over-expenditures of another tax base? Doesn't it equate to taxing residents in the Village of New York Mills "behind their backs" for a service they don't get?

Town Attorney Green...Mr. Frank Basile, CPA...your opinion please!

Stay Tuned...we're not done yet!


Sick & Tired said...

Looks like the Town of New Hartford has a TOP-HEAVY expense for Chief Philo's Police Force.

I think it is high time Chief Philo take a 30% cut in budgeted expenses. These expenditures coupled with hidden accounts and e-bay use, etc., require the Town's budget and ethics committee's to go through these expenditures with a "fine tooth comb."

How about the N.H. Dispatch Department? When are we going to see this overstaffed office disbanded? These services are redundant to those currently given by Oneida County 911 Unit.

Disgusted said...

What the heck is going on in the Town of New Hartford?

When are indictments going to be handed down on these idiots?

Strikeslip said...

This is interesting. How did the Town Council vote on these? Now that NY Mills has one of its own daughters on the council, did she vote to defend the interests of her constituents?

Curious George said...

Can someone tell me how much New Hartford Town Government is incurring expenses for the Police Department and Accounting Services?

Seems like these areas spend an awful lot of taxpayer monies.

I would be interested in reading of other areas that appear excessive as to spending.

New Hartford, N.Y. Online said...

Sad, but it is probably that no one on the town board really knows how the town budget works--either that or they don't give a damn. Desperation makes some people do desperate things. It's difficult when you overspend $60,000 and there is no money left to "borrow" from the "appropriate" accounts.

The fact that the Town of New Hartford has a police dept. and the Village of NYM also has a police dept. means that the budgeting process has to be handled differently than most other towns. But if no one knows the difference, i.e., John Q. Taxpayer, then anything goes!

That was one of the pluses of the Citizens Budget Committee. Many eyes were looking at the budget and the people on that committee were experienced in the town budget process.

The Citizens Budget Committee was looking out for the taxpayers, of that you can be sure! It's time the town board starts doing the same!