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Village of Newcomerstown Released from Fiscal Emergency
Columbus – Auditor of State Dave Yost today released the Village of Newcomerstown (Tuscarawas) from fiscal emergency, a status it held for more than four and a half years.
The village was placed in fiscal emergency on October 11, 2012 as a result of substantial deficit fund balances totaling $136,548 and $155,149 as of December 31, 2011 and April 30, 2012, respectively. That deficit escalated to more than $186,000 by the end of 2012.
To remove itself from fiscal emergency, the village erased a $166,000 deficit in the cemetery fund by transferring savings from the general fund. The cemetery department also reduced cemetery fund expenditures from $113,000 in 2010 to $67,000 in 2015 by eliminating positions and restructuring operations. The realignment combined the management of the cemetery and street departments.
The village eliminated another deficit totaling over $20,000 in the park fund by soliciting donations and seeking grant opportunities for park operations and capital needs. The pool operation also controlled expenditures by effectively managing staffing levels, while increasing attendance and revenue each year since 2013.
“You can’t overcome a deficit without solid leadership and an effective game plan,” Auditor Yost said. “Village officials stuck to their financial recovery plan and made the tough calls necessary to come out on top, and I applaud them for their success.”
Additionally, village officials hired a full-time fiscal officer to ensure accounts were reconciled timely and appropriations were in place and monitored. The fiscal officer is responsible for providing timely and accurate financial information to the mayor, village council and department heads. With this information, all village departments were able to monitor and reduce spending, which increased fund balances.
Voters also approved a 1.5 mill property tax levy on the November 2015 ballot to support police operations. The levy will generate approximately $70,000 in new revenue per year for the department. A hotel tax approved by village council will yield another $43,000 in annual revenue for the general fund. A portion of that revenue was transferred to support the park fund as well.
In addition, the village had to satisfy the following requirements to be removed from fiscal emergency:
- Eliminate the fiscal emergency conditions that were determined by the Auditor of State, pursuant to Section 118.04 of the Revised Code;
- Balance the budgets, avoid future deficits in any fund and maintain current payments of all accounts;
- Develop an effective financial accounting and reporting system; and
- Prepare a financial forecast for a five-year period in accordance with the standards issued by the Auditor of State.
A full copy of this fiscal emergency termination is available online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,800 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.
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