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.