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Audit Finds Sunnyside Mishandled Taxes

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If you think you’re the only one with debt problems think again. The City of Sunnyside is more than $600,000 in debt.

Washington State Auditors found several problems with the city’s finances. The state audit covered 2010 and 2011 and found the city violated state law by shifting money from restricted funds to other areas. They also failed to use its emergency funds to offset revenue declines. Interim City Manager Frank  Sweet spoke to the city about upcoming changes.

Although the city violated state laws, the auditor’s office said the city would not face any immediate consequences if the problem is fixed quickly. The council said it hasn’t been able to make informed decisions because it has not received accurate, complete or timely information. Sunnyside has seen a turnover in key positions like the city manager, finance director and assistant finance director.

Sunnyside will need to make significant cuts across the board in all departments to get the finances back under control. Some positions like police chief and finance director will be left infilled for the remainder of the years.

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