An annual audit of the state’s finances found that officials had double-counted over $750 million dollars. And that’s not the first time something like this has happened. That’s the most striking finding from an audit of the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, which gives a detailed picture of the state’s fiscal situation, for the fiscal year that ended in mid-2016. Auditors gave the report a “disclaimer of opinion,” which means there are significant enough problems that they cannot give a valid opinion on the report.[perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The state’s best environmental coverage. [/perfectpullquote]This is the fourth consecutive year that auditors gave the CAFR a disclaimer of opinion.
Once again, New Mexico’s financials are too poor to merit a comment from an independent auditor. For the second year in a row, the state received a “disclaimer of opinion” on its most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), which is supposed to give the most accurate picture of New Mexico’s financial condition. That’s because the state can’t account for at least $100 million of its own money, though the State Auditor’s Office says that the estimate of unaccounted-for money may be “substantially higher.”
New Mexico is overestimating money held in its savings account, or reserves. Reserves are different than the money used for the state’s annual budgets and act as a backup fund during bad economic times. For nearly a decade, New Mexico hasn’t been able to properly perform this act of balancing its own checkbook.