GREAT VALLEY – The Town of Great Valley has come under criticism for tax-collection practices in an audit by the state comptroller.
Town Clerk Toni Evans is singled out for not following proper procedure in collecting property taxes, failing to make deposits in a timely manner and neglecting to submit reports to Town Supervisor Dan Brown. The audit also faulted the clerk for timeliness, accuracy and taking as long as eight months to issue refunds.
Evans, meanwhile, said part of the blame rests with Cattaraugus County.
“Cattaraugus County implemented a new tax-collection program in January 2013,” Evans said. “The non-availability of qualified personnel within the county during key collection times created undue hardships when I had questions specific to the tax collection program.”
Cattaraugus County Deputy Treasurer Kelly Reed defended the new program.
“We went with a newer system in January 2013 that is more user-friendly,” Reed said. “We have been getting a lot of feedback from other towns, villages and school districts that are using the system that love how easy the system is.”
Auditors said the Town Board needs to conduct an audit, or hire an outside auditor, to examine books and practices.
Brown, meanwhile, offered his take on the audit.
“What this amounts to is a need for the clerk to go to the bank more often and make more timely deposits,” he said.
The town, meanwhile, plans to put together a plan of correction to be submitted to the state.