Aspen School District Removes Audit Barriers and Can Receive Property Tax Revenue Again

The Aspen School District has overcome the hurdles to complete its 2021 financial audit and submitted it to the state, more than five and a half months after the original deadline and three and a half months after the extended deadline.

This means the district can resume receiving Pitkin County property tax revenue after a suspension that lasted more than a month.

Chief Financial Officer Linda Warhoe and auditor Paul Niedermuller of CliftonLarsonAllen presented the audit to the school board at a May 18 meeting and the board approved the audit as presented.

The Colorado state auditor’s office received the Aspen School District’s submission on May 20 and released the property tax withholding on May 23, according to an email from Greg Fugate, director of communications and office quality assurance. The local office administration online portal also indicates that the district audit has been processed.

The district is required by law to submit an annual audit to the state within six months of the end of its fiscal year, which ends in late June. An auditor has five months to submit it to the district, and then the district is expected to submit it to the state within 30 days of receiving it.

That deadline set the usual deadline at the end of December, and the district requested a 60-day extension that moved the deadline to March 1. But as of April 20, the district was still “at the heart of this audit,” Warhoe said. at a meeting of the Board of Education at the time. Several factors impacted the schedule, including staffing issues and adjustments to work with a new auditor.

With the district’s audit well past the deadline, the state had two options: it could tell the county to withhold district tax funds or require the district to “perform or cause to be performed such an audit” at the district’s expense.

The state auditor’s office opted for the former and sent a letter to Pitkin County Treasurer Ann Driggers on April 19 authorizing the county to withhold district tax funds as required by law. of State.

County Executive Jon Peacock confirmed in an email that the county “received notice of the release of funds from the state on (May 23) so there is no further holdback on the distribution of property tax”.

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Penny D. Jackson