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State Auditor to award financial aid to small, rural communities

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SANTA FE – State Auditor Tim Keller announced Aug. 16 that the Office of the State Auditor is set to award financial assistance to small political subdivisions across New Mexico.

The OSA will award grants to entities, such as acequias and soil and water conservation districts, to help them complete state audit requirements that bring transparency to public funds. Over the last three fiscal years, the OSA has awarded about $420,000 to 64 small, mostly rural entities in 19 different counties.

Helping entities become compliant with audit requirements allows entities to receive capital outlay funding and other state or federal assistance.

“A little help goes a long way in assisting our rural communities with safeguarding taxpayer dollars. These grants also enable acequia, water associations and other groups to get ahold of infrastructure funding that has been tied up in red tape,” stated Auditor Keller.

The legislature provided funds to OSA to make the awards. The office developed an application process to provide an opportunity for entities to apply for financial assistance. The process gives priority to small political subdivisions that 1) demonstrate financial need or hardship completing their audit reports or agreed-upon procedure reports; and 2) demonstrate that their noncompliance with financial reporting requirements will adversely impact their eligibility to receive other federal or state funding.

“The State Auditor’s Office is grateful to the legislature for the appropriation and has developed a thoughtful process for awarding funds to the communities that need them most,” continued Auditor Keller.

The application, due August 31, is available here: https://www.saonm.org/financial_assistance.