.

NIFA Director 'Shocked' with Comptroller, County's Finances

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

Nassau Interim Finance Authority Director George J. Marlin. Credit: Geoffrey Walter
Nassau Interim Finance Authority Director George J. Marlin. Credit: Geoffrey Walter
The following is from Nassau Interim Finance Authority Director George J. Marlin:

The county comptroller’s declaration that Nassau ended fiscal year 2012 with a “miraculous” surplus was absurd. It was a mirage, not a miracle.

I am shocked that after three years in office the comptroller does not yet understand that a budget is balanced only when tax and fee income is equal to expenditures.

The claim that the county will end 2012 with a $25.5 million surplus was not measured on a GAAP basis, which is required by the NIFA statute, and was contrived by fiscal gimmicks that do not address the county’s structural deficit.

In 2012, the county kicked the fiscal time-bomb down the road by not paying $72 million in tax cert refunds, deferring $32 million in pension costs through the system’s amortization option, used $40 million in bonded termination costs and used $17 million from closed-out capital projects which had previously been funded through borrowings.

No one should be surprised that the county continues to ignore inconvenient fiscal facts. Let’s face it, the County has forfeited its credibility when it comes to fiscal matters. Lest we forget:
  • The county claimed it ended fiscal year 2010 with a balanced budget. This was false. The county had to borrow to cover revenue shortfalls.
  • The county claimed as late as Aug. 5, 2011 that its budget for that year was balanced. It was reported in New Times that the county CFO told the legislature that day, “the county will have a balanced budget in 2011 and if the Nassau County Interim Finance Authority continues to say otherwise, the State Authority should tell the county how to bring it into balance … ‘I know the budget is balanced when a big four audit company signs off on it.’” The county actually ended the 2011 fiscal year with $173.4 million GAAP deficit and a $50.4 million cash deficit.
  • The county was legally required to cut $150 million in recurring expenses in fiscal year 2012. The county failed to comply with this requirement and it had projected last fall that [in] the 2012 fiscal year the county would incur a $139 million GAAP deficit and a $25 million cash deficit.
And now the county wants us to believe they have suddenly incurred in 2012 a surplus?

As for its 2013 budget, it is a classic election year document designed to deceive voters. To get by in 2013, the county is ignoring the white elephant in County Hall—Commercial Property Tax Cert refunds. Only $18 million in refunds have been approved for fiscal 2013. These dollars will be allocated primarily to settle residential claims (a/k/a voters). Meanwhile, the backlog in Commercial Real Estate Tax Cert claims continues to grow. The county comptroller’s office has estimated that the backlog on Dec. 31, 2010 totaled $150 million; $223 million at the end of 2011; $306 at the end of 2012 and is projected to grow to $388 million in 2013. Other experts have suggested the number could be as high as $500 million by the end of this year.

Obviously the county has learned nothing since the control period began two years ago. This may explain why the county’s ratings have been downgraded and may very well be downgraded again.

How Sandy Has Affected the Nassau Real Estate Market

The number of home sales on the south shore did in fact decline in the last quarter of 2012. In the last months of 2011, 166 home sales were reported, according to a report by real estate firm Douglas Elliman and appraisal firm Miller Samuel. The number of home sales decreased to 127 in the final quarter of 2012, a 23.5 percent decline. On the north shore, homes sales went from 415 in the fourth quarter of 2011 to 530 in 2012, an increase of 27.7 percent.

Click here to read Patch's full report on the post-Sandy real estate market.

Mangano Announces Nassau County Aquatic Center Spring Swim Lessons and Exercise Classes

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano has released the spring session schedule for swim lessons, and land and aquatic exercise classes at the Nassau County Aquatic Center at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.

Swim lessons will be offered for all levels: Infant/toddler for ages 6-36 months (child must be accompanied in the water with an adult), Swim with Me for ages 3-4 (child must be accompanied in the water by an adult), Preschool Levels 1-3 for children ages 3-5 years, Levels 1-6 for children 6 and over, Teen/Adult for ages 13 and over, Adult Instruction for ages 18 and over, and Adapted Aquatic Classes for ages 5-8 (parent and child get in the water together). Classes are held Mondays through Sundays. Fees vary.

Land exercise classes are held Monday through Sunday, with a varied schedule throughout the day and specific concentrations assigned to each time slot. The class offerings include Senior Power, Pilates, Spin-lates (Spinning and Pilates), Senior Wake-up and Dance, Cardio Kickboxing, Tai Chi, Healthy Back, Intense Body Transformation, Spinning, Yoga, Ultimate Core and Stretch, Total Body Express Circuit, Yin Yoga, Awesome Body Workout, Core and Stretch, Killer Kettleballs, Total Body Conditioning, Zumba, Big Dave’s Boot Camp, Cardio X-Training Circuit, Zumba Toning, Extreme Conditioning and Triathlon Training. All classes are one hour unless otherwise noted. Fees vary per class.

Personal Training is available for all facility members. Please contact David Graziosi at: dgraziosi@nassaucountyny.gov for more information.

Aquatic fitness classes are held Monday through Friday, with specific concentrations assigned to each time slot. The class offerings include Adult Fit Swim, Aquajog, Aquaerobics, Teen/Adult Fit Swim (ages 13 & over), Joint Efforts, and Aqua Zumba. Fees are $55 for 10 classes. Discounts for taking multiple Aquatic Fitness Classes are as follows: two classes per session is $11 off total, three classes per session is $24 off total and four classes per session is $40 off total.

Important Dates for the Spring 2013 Session:
  • Feb. 4: Lottery applications begin to be accepted for youth swim lessons.  All lottery registrations are final after they are entered. Please double check to confirm you are entering the correct level.
  • Feb. 10: Lottery applications due by 5 p.m.
  • Feb. 11: Registration for adult swim lessons, aquatic fitness and land fitness classes from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. There is no lottery for these classes – registration is first come, first serve.
  • Feb. 12: Lottery results will be available beginning at 9 a.m. Payment for class spots will be accepted starting today between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Important note: Enrollee is responsible for finding out if child won a class spot from the lottery. Aquatic center will not call you. Please call (516) 572-0501 for results. 
  • Sunday, Feb. 17: Payments for class spots are due by 5 p.m. Unpaid spots will be released to wait list enrollees.
  • Feb. 19: Waitlisted enrolled will start being called to fill in unpaid spots. Note: Please don’t call aquatic center; you will receive a call if a spot is available. 
  • Feb. 22: Last chance open registration begins at 8 a.m. for any remaining spots.
  • Feb. 25: First day of classes for the spring session.


GCBob February 09, 2013 at 08:05 AM
It would seem that the number 1 issue for county debt is the Tax Cert refunds. A system that will soon be placed on local governments and especially school districts, who do not have the option of passing a bond to make payments but must provide for these refunds as part of their budgets while this money is not covered under the State's 2 percent cap. This should be a most challenging time for everyone involved in the budget process. The GC school district maybe faced with the same unpleasant choice, as recently done by the Village BOT, of layoffs in order to get costs under some control.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »