Make feds, state pay

Local municipalities must make sure they get all of the money they are owed by the state and federal government for handling mandated programs.

Given that serious mandate relief has yet to happen, local governments must make sure they are fully reimbursed to ease some of the spending burden on local taxpayers.

Earlier this month, state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli issued a critical report on the way Montgomery County handled reimbursement for social services costs, finding the county may have lost out on reimbursement of just over $100,000.

The state’s audit on Montgomery County – covering Jan. 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2012 – found the municipality did not maximize its reimbursement of expenditures related to the administration of social services programs.

The report said the county underbilled by $135,700, and the additional potential revenue the county lost out on totaled $101,775.

To be fair, the state audited seven counties and found they failed to seek reimbursement for more than $1.4 million in eligible costs, potentially losing almost $1 million in additional revenue. The revenue was lost because the counties did not establish consistent billing processes, which resulted in billing errors or a failure to bill at all, the report said.

We encourage all of our local municipalities to make sure they are getting fully reimbursed now by the state and federal governments – rather than get hit in an audit by the comptroller, and find they missed out on money they were owed.

Local taxpayers will thank them.