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Nassau Ends 2011 in $50M Deficit, 2012 on Similar Pace

A weekly look-in at the news of Nassau County.

Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos announced last week that the county will end the 2011 fiscal year with an unaudited budgetary deficit of $50.4 million. The audited results will be finalized by July 30. According to a release, the delay was necessary due to the need to confirm the county's Other Post-employment Benefits liability.

The county is currently projected to end the 2012 fiscal year with a $45 million defecit, according to Maragos, "unless immediate steps are taken to end in balance."

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said Friday that he has closed the county's $310 million budget deficit to $45 million as projected by Maragos. Mangano will be joined by Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt on Monday morning to announce his plan to close the remaining $45 million projected budget deficit.

"The deficit in 2011 was avoidable and is primarily the result of NIFA and the legislative minority failing to work with the administration to approve $43.1 million in bonding for property tax refunds," Maragos said in a release.

According to Long Island Business News, the increase in the 2011 deficit from the original estimate of $42.8 million to the final total of $50.4 million can be largely attributed to "mistakenly counting revenue of $7.1 million in debt service reimbursement from the Sewer and Storm Water District Fund twice."

Overall, the deficit resulted from receiving about $80.1 million less in revenue than budgeted, mostly due to New York state not approving red light camera expansion for the county, and higher expenses from not being able to bond $43.1 million for property tax refunds.

"Similarly, the projected $45 million deficit in 2012 is partially the result of the anticipated failure of NIFA and the legislative minority to again approve the 2012 budgeted bonding for tax refunds," Maragos said in a release. "This ongoing lack of cooperation will continue to negatively affect the county."

Maragos said the administration needs to target $90 million in actions to achieve a budgetary surplus in 2012 and restore the unreserved fund balance back to 2010 levels, something the comptroller said would be "a major accomplishment."

According to Maragos, these "actions" should aim to:

  1. Refocus government on core function
  2. In-source where possible, services performed by contractors
  3. Cancel all non-essential contractual services and maintenance contracts
  4. Halt all non-essential general expense purchases.

West Nile Virus Found at Four Trap Locations in Nassau

Nassau County Department of Health Monday announced the isolation of West Nile virus (WNV) from mosquitoes at four trap locations in Nassau County. The virus was identified in mosquitoes collected in Bayville, Lakeview, Massapequa and Mineola.

To date, no humans have tested positive for West Nile virus in Nassau County in 2012.

Mosquito surveillance will continue at 42 trap sites located throughout the county and will be intensified in those communities where WNV positive mosquitoes have been identified. Additional West Nile virus information can be found on the Nassau County Department of Health website.

County Parks to Participate in Island Harvest’s Make a Splash Food Drive Challenge

Mangano announced that Nassau County will once again participate in Island Harvest's second annual Make a Splash Food Drive Challenge.

Click here to read more about the food drive.

Nassau Taxpayer July 24, 2012 at 05:51 PM
If so there are two options : 1./ change the Constitution, or 2./ cut pay even further to compensate -- in a Chapter 9. Your choice?
Gary B July 24, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Nassau County is the next Stockton and San Bernardino, California. Two cities who recently declared bankruptcy. I suggest all union empoyees and leaders look off of Long Island and realize what has already happened in other parts of the country. Were next if you don't take concessions. Get educated. Here is a CNN article explaining why these two cities went bankrupt. After all you may loose more in a bankruptcy than if you took concessions. http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/20/why-u-s-cities-are-going-bankrupt/
Mac July 24, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Tom terrific you have very little wisdom in that brain of yours if you cannot understand the basics of life. the top two being freedom of choice/freewill and life isnt fair. We all make choices and then either benefit or not. As it was so clearly pointed out ch 9 or 11 will not help with the current pension problem. The pension is something that cannot be altered unless the NYS constitution is ammended. Yes bankruptcy would kill the county. All existing county contracts NOT SCHOOL contracts would be destroyed technically leaving all the civil servants jobless because they wouldnt get paid. Try asking you garbageman or police to come over then. real estate values would plummet as they did in the few towns/cities that have declared ch 9. the legal bill alone for filing would be in the 20 million dollar range easily, libraries, parks and any other county run resource would close or need to be manned by volunteers. Is this enough for you?? Nassau County is one of the richest counties in America no court would grant bankruptcy nor would it be asked for. Tom you apparently only decipher what you feel like to prove your point. I hace stated that change needs to be made because it is not salaries that are killing us. We can no longer afford these pensions especially the way they are being calculated, civil servants need to work longer and contribute more. YES I do believe that a signed contract is worth something. Perhaps you need to move out of your comfort zone and use your brain
Rhonda Goldfarb July 24, 2012 at 06:17 PM
@nassau taxpayer - you seem to think that this chapter 9 is some simple way out of costs you dont want to pay. But look at the other areas that declared bankruptcy, there were huge financial issues there not a $50M defecit. Nassua county has the wherewithall to deal with this through small structured tax raises if necessary. Ch 9 is not an option. But google what you need to do to change the states constitution - trust me thats not happening.
Nassau Taxpayer July 24, 2012 at 06:22 PM
This year's $50M deficit is the tip of the iceberg. Yes, a Chapter 9 is necessary to deal with the $4+B in unsustainable debt racked up by Gullotta & Pals. Take your choice: a Nassau Chapter 9 or a change to the NYS Constitution for ALL municipalities. One or the other is necessary.
Mac July 24, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Gary still havent run across the salary of the NC officer making the 876,000 you claim even with your links. Your average salary means very little because EVERYTHING here in Nassau County is above average. Of course police salaries will be the same. I do agree with you about the union as I said it was not for me. I found the leaders were selfish and really didnt care about the general membership while bullying everyone who had a different idea. The pension boms is a problem that needs to be fixed now. If I was a cop I would be doing the same thing as all of us would. The only way to increase revenue is slashing services and increasing taxes then acting prudently on future contracts. The problem lies within our elected officials the one we voted in. they do not care about us but seem to care a whole lot on blaming the other party. Was Suozzi or Gullota or even going back to Purcell any better? This spiral really all started with Gullotta and his increased each year. But if these political leaders dont come together we are doomed. Once agin its all about choices the majority choose these leaders and everyone pays the price.In this case though I think its usually the better of two bad choices.
Rhonda Goldfarb July 24, 2012 at 06:28 PM
@nassau taxpayer - the costs of the county are sustainable if you stiop playing politics on both sides of the fence like we get between both parties. Both parties are responsible for the debt - an overwhelming piece is the payback of school tax refund money we never had. Finally at least Mangano eliminated that and passed it back to the school districts. You now have 6 ttiers of pension benefits based on when you start in the system. You will never get a change to effect the benefits of current employees - not happening in NYS. Chapter 9 is not necessary at all. What we need are leaders who lead.
Mac July 24, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Taxpayer what is so hard to comprehend really? Chapter 9 filing WILL NOT effect pension here in the county nor will it effect your school taxes which is the ones we really need to control. Your ridiculous suggestion to change the NYS constitution for Nassau County is moronic. Chapter 9 will only lead into bigger problems and not erase all the debt while incurring substantial legal costs that must get paid.
Mac July 24, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Rhonda the school refund tax is coming out of our pocket either way. It must get paid and where does that money come from. What Ed did was use the refund as a way to balance his books. This will further cripple schools and education but teachers will take the brunt of this also. We need leaders who will lead and make the tough choices for us not concerned with making their party angry.
Rhonda Goldfarb July 24, 2012 at 06:39 PM
@Mac - the schools are being overfunded by this phantom tax money they never had to pay back. It should never had been and I am glad it no longer is the counties repsonsibility. It belongs to the schools and let them deal with the effect. The county should not have to worry about coming up with hundreds of millions in dollars to pay back refunds it never had.
Nassau Taxpayer July 24, 2012 at 06:47 PM
This year's $50M deficit is the tip of the iceberg. Yes, a Chapter 9 is necessary to deal with the $4+B in unsustainable debt and unsustainable employee contracts racked up by Gullotta & Pals. Take your choice: a Nassau Chapter 9 or a change to the NYS Constitution for ALL municipalities. One or the other is necessary.
Mac July 24, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Rhonda you missed the point. Regardless of who pays the refund money back it comes out of our pockets. How abotu the county assess house properly and taxes levied accordingly. Still cant figure out how my home property continues to go down but estimated assessment goes up? Once agin we the taxpayer pay.
Rhonda Goldfarb July 24, 2012 at 07:05 PM
@Mac - actually it really is about who pays because the payment causes a structural imbalance for Nassau County. We are talking about fixing Nassau Counties finances not the schools. Each entity needs to be dealt with seperately. You cannot group them together and put some revenue in one and sopem expenses in the other.
Robert Demarco July 24, 2012 at 07:43 PM
It was injteresting when County officials said that less was received in red light camera revenue than was projected. When they originally installed the cameras, they said the purpose was safety. It was obvious then that money was the issue, and this statement confirms it. What a shock that they over-budgeted red light camera revenue.
Mac July 24, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Rhonda these payments were agreed upon by the county because the county assesses the property. So when the county over assesses the taxes to the school are higher but the school budgets that money into its budget. The county made an agreement to reimburse the homeowner not the school for specific reasons. The bottom line is that regardless of who should have been paying who back we pay regardless where it comes from. This tactic was used by Mangano to balance his books shifting money to the school district. But, it doesnt take into account the district has no control over what the county values the property at and subsequent tax. Once agin more mismanagement by who ....the county. And again who pays US.
Rhonda Goldfarb July 24, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Mac - This was an agreement trhat was entered into approximately 50 years ago by the county and the schools when the schools decided to use the county's assesment system. While at the initial time it might have been immaterail, now it is breaking the county's budget. It is more than past the time to give this to the schools where the money is. The vast majority of the debt related to the assessments piled up over the years is realted to this school tax. This is not a tactic but a proper aligning of the expense to where the revenue is. You seem to forget who was in charge when the last re-assessment fiasco was completed.
Robert Demarco July 24, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Someone asked the other day for suggestions on how to improve the fiscal situation in Nassau. Term limits need to be imposed on all Nassau County elected positions. This will limit the time in office for these ineffective career political hacks and give us a chance to elect some different people who just might have some original ideas on how to solve our problems. We as voters have to stop listening to the false promises made by these politicians and elect candidates who can operate independently of the party bosses. I know this sounds far-fetched in a County such as Nassau, where the party rules and the taxpayers pay. The current crop of legislators is so incompetent that I cannot conceive of voting for any of them, Democrat or Republican. It is hard to believe that in this day and age, we are stuck with these losers running our lives.
Robert Demarco July 24, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Just as an aside, money is wasted in big ways and little ways in Nassau County. I played golf yesterday in Eisenhower Park, and Mangano's name is even on the pencils that they give you to keep score. Is that really necessary? We all know who he is because he is the current face of incompetence in Nassau County.
Nassau Taxpayer July 24, 2012 at 09:47 PM
How ironic, having to sharpen the dullest pencil in the drawer.
ed July 24, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Oh Really? ... Features of Chapter 9 This section requires expansion. While in many[clarification needed] ways similar to other forms of bankruptcy reorganization (Chapters 11, 12, and 13), Chapter 9 has a number of unique characteristics. Because municipalities are entities of State governments, the power of Congress to adjust their debts through bankruptcy is limited considerably by the 10th and 11th Amendments. Collective bargainingMunicipalities' ability to re-write collective bargaining agreements is much greater than in a corporate Chapter 11 bankruptcy[9][10] and can trump state labor protections,[11] allowing cities to renegotiate unsustainable pension or other benefits packages negotiated in flush times.[12]
ed July 24, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Features of Chapter 9 This section requires expansion. (April 2009) While in many[clarification needed] ways similar to other forms of bankruptcy reorganization (Chapters 11, 12, and 13), Chapter 9 has a number of unique characteristics. Because municipalities are entities of State governments, the power of Congress to adjust their debts through bankruptcy is limited considerably by the 10th and 11th Amendments. Collective bargainingMunicipalities' ability to re-write collective bargaining agreements is much greater than in a corporate Chapter 11 bankruptcy[9][10] and can trump state labor protections,[11] allowing cities to renegotiate unsustainable pension or other benefits packages negotiated in flush times.[12]
Nassau Taxpayer July 24, 2012 at 11:02 PM
Chapter 9. File it now.
LB TAXPAYA July 24, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Nassau Taxpayer like a typical Liberal wants to run from the debt and file Chapter 9 Bankruptcy! Unbelievable! Take Take Take? guess what, it's time to pay, pay, pay! Mr Nassau, I've seen you plenty of times talk bad about the tea party (teabaggers as you call them). But let's really take a closer look who the real tea baggers are, OK. whose party supports Gay marriage (theres lot's of teabagging there, no? ) haha! true that!
paul July 24, 2012 at 11:59 PM
To Tom Terrific: Thank you for the compliment. Yes, I am BRILLIANT!
paul July 25, 2012 at 12:19 AM
To those who keep singling out certain civil service workers for a salary they well deserve. As in all jobs there can be abuses, and there are monitoring units that watch for this. It is never a perfect system but it does work whether you think so or not... On another note: You mention lowering a salary to a much lower amount. Remember you get what you pay for. For instance someone mentioned a cop should make $60,000, 00 a year. Gee, guess what, did you ever wonder maybe they get salary increases every so often due to a contract negotiation that was agreed upon between the union and the powers that be. Also, lets take a TSA agent for example. What poor low quality individuals they are hiring. (maybe a few good ones but have not encountered them yet) It is a disgrace. Did you know that if they were to pay perhaps 3 or 4 times what a TSA agent currently makes they could replace probably two or three TSA agents with one very well trained retired police officer who after 20 years of service would be more valuable because of the training they received over their career. You could not pay a cop enough to put his life on the line for "YOU" and yes I mean "YOU" everyday... So please think before you type, you obviously have not..... I did......
ed July 25, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Country is in a recession / County is broke / County workers get another raise ... http://nassaucountynewsnetwork.wordpress.com/2011/08/19/newsday-reports-on-employees%E2%80%99-salaries-contributing-to-mangano%E2%80%99s-budget-woes/
Nassau Taxpayer July 25, 2012 at 03:01 PM
ed hit it out of the park. Chapter 9. File it now. "Features of Chapter 9 This section requires expansion. (April 2009) While in many[clarification needed] ways similar to other forms of bankruptcy reorganization (Chapters 11, 12, and 13), Chapter 9 has a number of unique characteristics. Because municipalities are entities of State governments, the power of Congress to adjust their debts through bankruptcy is limited considerably by the 10th and 11th Amendments. Collective bargainingMunicipalities' ability to re-write collective bargaining agreements is much greater than in a corporate Chapter 11 bankruptcy[9][10] and can trump state labor protections,[11] allowing cities to renegotiate unsustainable pension or other benefits packages negotiated in flush times.[12]"
Mac July 25, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Ed you do realize this article is a year old and the contracts were given by Suozzi? You also realize that because of these contracts many employees were already given an early retirement incentive or laid off? Taxpayer you continue to spout nonsense. Once again a bankruptcy filing is not happening and it would kill Nassau county even if it did. Bankruptcy cannot supercede the nys constitution.
ed July 25, 2012 at 04:44 PM
"Even as there are glimmers of a national economic recovery, cities and counties increasingly find themselves in the middle of a financial crisis. The problems are spreading as municipalities face a toxic mix of stresses that has been brewing for years, including soaring pension, Medicaid and retiree health care costs. And many have exhausted creative accounting maneuvers and one-time spending cuts or revenue-raisers to bail themselves out." http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/nyregion/deficits-push-municipalities-to-desperation.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
Nassau Taxpayer August 06, 2012 at 09:58 PM
A deal for bankers by bankers... http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/how-bank-rate-rigging-hits-real-world When did you know they were lying?

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