School district sues Mount Vernon comptroller, accuses her of withholding $29M

Mount Vernon's school district is suing the city's comptroller, claiming she is withholding nearly $29 million and that it's creating a major hole in the district's budget.

News 12 Staff

Jul 20, 2020, 9:20 PM

Updated 1,398 days ago

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Mount Vernon's school district is suing the city's comptroller, claiming she is withholding nearly $29 million and that it's creating a major hole in the district's budget.
A lawsuit filed Friday claims Mount Vernon Comptroller Deborah Reynolds is withholding the money from the Mount Vernon City School District.
Reynolds brushed off the claims saying any money owed to the district isn't in the city's bank account.
"I have people who haven't paid since 2010," she says.
The comptroller's office collected taxes on behalf of the district up until this year.
Reynolds points to a pile of notices sent to Mount Vernon taxpayers who are now making partial payments on years of past due taxes.
"We are talking about people that are having hardships in a time that we are having COVID, the school system is suing myself and the city," she says.
The shortchanging couldn't come at at worse time for the district, which is facing cuts to state aid. The district said in a letter that the missing money makes up 10% of its annual budget.
The Board of Trustees say it has "exhausted all efforts to resolve this amicably, we unfortunately have no choice left but to pursue legal remedies."
Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard tells News 12 that she's called an emergency meeting of the Board of Estimate and Contract this Wednesday morning to discuss the litigation with the comptroller and the City Council president.
Mount Vernon's board president released a statement saying, "The Mount Vernon City School District would like the Comptroller to produce the tax records from 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 to understand what school taxes have been paid and what is still outstanding. We have requested this for months and have received no response or documentation."
 
 


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