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Control Board Rejects Nassau’s Fiscal Plan

NIFA calls for additional $225 million in adjustments.

The state fiscal control board is calling for Nassau County leaders to go back to the drawing board for its 2012 budget.

Voicing their disapproval late Thursday afternoon, board members of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority rejected Nassau’s 2012-14 multi-year plan submitted by Nassau leaders and ordered that modifications be made to the 2012 budget plan in what NIFA Chairman Ronald Stack described as a “prescribed format.”

“We basically found that nothing had been done,” Stack said.

NIFA board member George Marlin described the multi-year plan as an “example of unacceptable wishful thinking” and called for the county to “abandon delusions of fiscal balance.”

The new plan must incorporate $225 million in “adjustments,” including the removal of $150 million for privatization projects, which could take between 12-18 months, $23 million for red light cameras, $33 million in union concessions and a $20 million increase in property tax refunds from an estimated $50 million to $70 million.

“The revenues would not be allowable under generally accepted accounting principles and a massive hole would still exist,” Stack said, adding that the board had “grown tired” of red light camera plans which required state approval and which were never granted.

The new plan must be submitted to NIFA by July 28. Nassau Executive Ed Mangano is required to submit his 2012 fiscal budget by Sept. 15.

“The county has exhibited delusions of fiscal balance,” Marlin said. “It is becoming apparent that the 2011 budget is a work of fiction.”

NIFA workers say that the county is still running a 1 percent deficit and many “gap closing actions have either been postponed, scaled back or are expected to produce unrealistic savings in the second half of the year.”

During a presentation Wednesday, Tim Sullivan, the deputy county executive for finance, said that the county would be asking the authority to partner with them in helping to restructure their debt.

“We have all heard the county mouth the word ‘cooperation’,” board member Leonard Steinmann said, “that cooperation is not taking place.”

Sullivan said that major cuts have already been made, including and discretionary services such as youth boards being cut. “That’s what’s going to get cut,” he said. “That’s what they’re calling for. There are no other areas – if there were they would have come up with something.”

Stack indicated that the authority would not help to restructure the county’s debt as it had in 2000 when the authority was created.

“It’s up for the county to take action now,” Stack said.

Daniel Garcia July 15, 2011 at 06:24 PM
Vincent, waste no more time on this thread. It's time to march on this coliseum of cards. Copy&paste the following and email to all you Nassau County email contacts. http://online.wsj.com/search/term.html?KEYWORDS=stadium+leaves+a+costly+legacy&mod=DNH_S "I don't know where you stand on the coliseum issue, but I urge you to log on and read the above article regardless. After doing so note that there will be a Special Election - Monday, August 1, 2011 6:00am - 9:00pm (Unless you received a post card indicating a polling place change, vote at your regular polling place) Call Nassau County Board of Elections [516 571 2411] if you are uncertain." START TODAY - SAVE TOMORROW
Vincent July 15, 2011 at 07:09 PM
Daniel Garcia, you are right. Will do.
Glenn July 16, 2011 at 01:37 PM
Chris, Good point. You cannot run a government when your revenue coming in is less than the expenditures going out. My thought is you should be auditing the numbers going in and check your largest expenditures going out. There lies the problem with this administration, not starting with the basics. Stop shifting like Gulotta did in his day.Take steps to get a "balanced budget" in place. Stop borrowing money. Think about having a county payroll tax withholding and shift some of the real estate liability to withholding. This could allow people to afford living here. Also pressure NYS to stop the runaway spending by the school districts, Operate with the formula per child and be consistent. Get rid of these $400,000 plus salaried superintendents. Suck it up and stop playing the blame game. Work together with NIFA to achieve real goals, Stop fighting and play nice in the sandbox. A attorney does not mean that you know how to govern. It appears that being a county executive should come with instructions, like a board game. Know the rules and play fair.
Glenn July 16, 2011 at 01:55 PM
Gentlemen, One thing about Suozzi was that he was a CPA and an attorney. He knew there were problems. He approached it as a CPA would. Analyze and make changes. The heart of the problem was the real estate tax burden which was weighed mostly heavily with the school tax. He could not accomplish this as a county executive, so he shifted his ambition to being Governor of the state. Now that we know that it will take extraordinary measures to get the school districts to change their ways, we need to look to other ways of fighting these runaway expenditures. We need to get young people back to LI to change the dynamics we have. Lets get rid of these real estate pilot programs. Lets get more public- private partnerships together Lets get a county payroll tax in place that we can all agree upon Lets look into the towns and how they are not using their resources properly. Lets start closing down these rooming houses creeping up in the local neighborhoods. Lets enforce the laws on the books instead of pushing to create new ones. This are just some thoughts of mine. Collectively, we can work together to solve problems. the question is do we have the political will to set aside our differences to reach a common goal?
m brier July 20, 2011 at 09:01 PM
Robert excellent idea vote no

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