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Putnam Daily Voice serves Brewster, Carmel-Kent, Cold Spring, Mahopac, Patterson & Putnam Valley
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Letter: State Comptroller Releases Report On Putnam Valley Schools

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PUTNAM VALLEY, N.Y. -- The Putnam Daily Voice accepts signed, original letters to the editor up to 350 words. To submit your letter, e-mail putnam@dailyvoice.com

The State Comptroller, Thomas P. DiNapoli, has completed its report of financial examination of the Putnam Valley Central School system. The District’s financial condition for the period July 1, 2014 through February 10, 2016. They extended their audit scope period back to July 1, 2010 to evaluate financial trends. The report indicates the PVCSD could have reduced the 48 million dollar budget, reduced the amount of reserves and reduced the tax burden on the tax payers of Putnam Valley.

The report also clearly indicates that either the school was incompetent in managing a 48 million dollar budget or blatantly chose to over tax the residents to build up reserves 4.1 to 8.7 percent more than the statutory limit. Either intent the taxpayers should get a refund and or a largedecrease in the upcoming year.

After reading the audit I'm sure you will come to the same conclusion, that our school lacks transparency to the taxpayer and a complete disregard for its funding source, the taxpayer.

Obviously the taxpayers are not part of their agenda but just a cash cow. The report clearly states and shows the school using surplus funds each year to increase the reserves instead of reducing taxes. Paying claims and other expenditures out of the budget instead of using the particular reserve account it was intended for.

The Board used operating surpluses to increase reserves, which were over funded by 1.8 million. Similarly, officials used surplus funds to make un-budgeted transfers totaling approximately $4.6 million to the debt service fund at year-end in each of the last five years. However, the amounts retained in reserves were not used to pay related expenditures. Instead, the Board budgeted annually for these expenditures and paid for them from general fund appropriations. The school could have reduced the budget and our tax levy by 4.6 million plus. That would be an average reduction of $1,120 per household (4.6 million divided by approx. 5,000 homes).

The Audit report can be accessed here: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/schools/2016/putnamvalley.pdf.

You come to your own conclusion, warning: it will upset you!

Dan Vera

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