05/31/2001 11:00PM

State criticizes NYRA books


The New York Comptroller's Office has told the New York Racing Association that it still needs to improve its accounting procedures following a recent audit of NYRA's franchise fee.

"NYRA has a workable system in place to calculate the franchise fee, and have implemented some of our recommendations from prior audits that have improved their financial operations," said Carl McCall, the state comptroller, in a report released Friday. "However, we did find some areas where more work needs to be done."

Auditors questioned charitable contributions and lobbying expenses that NYRA had deducted. The comptroller's office said that lobbying expenses are not allowed to be deducted. The audit also said that NYRA needs to examine its waste-removal contract to identify savings.

Terry Meyocks, president of NYRA, said that the lobbying expenses were not paid for actual lobbying duties, but instead to a law firm that monitored legislation. Meyocks also said that the track's waste-removal contract had become an expense rather than income because of a lack of demand for natural fertilizers like horse manure.