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NIFA Rules Force $121M in Nassau Budget Cuts

Mangano says “draconian” budget cuts will affect “hundreds” of workers.

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano announced Wednesday that he would be making $121 million worth of cuts to his 2011 budget in response to the control period issued by the Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA).

“This $121 (million) of it is painful, very painful,” Mangano said during a press conference at the county Legislative building, blaming the cuts on a change in NIFA’s accounting practices which “creates a paper projected deficit” of $176 million “that I must address with real cuts.”

When asked about the discrepancy between the cuts being made and NIFA’s numbers, the county executive said that “some of those dollars even by NIFA’s admission are less than $176 (million). Some of them are accounting in nature.”

The move comes following a supreme court judge’s ruling that the state fiscal watchdog can impose a control period on the county, but has not ruled on whether it was right to impose one at this current time. Mangano said that he “hasn’t made a decision” whether he will continue the trial or make an appeal.

NIFA’s accounting changes primarily ended the practice of counting borrowed funds to pay property tax settlements as revenue which had existed under previous administrations.

“We put forth a plan based on the rules that we took office in,” Mangano said. “The fix just got harder in the wake of these new accounting principals.”

The new rules also preclude the county from counting on 90 percent of the revenue generated from selling some of its properties in and around Mitchel Field. Only $3.7 million will be counted from the sale of those properties under the NIFA guidelines.

“It’s a shame NIFA had to direct the county executive to use real numbers. He should have done it from the beginning,” Legislative Minority Leader Diane Yatauro, D-Glen Cove, said in a statement.

“This derails my assessment reform plan that I put forth,” Mangano stated, saying it creates an additional $80 million cost to taxpayers in 2011. Last year the county legislature passed assessment reforms system which recognized the estimated $300 million in backlog and debt, but now Mangano said “we must now find a way to deal with those costs this year and every year as they occur.”

Mangano has vowed not to raise property taxes, which he estimates would have to be increased 21.5 percent in order to pay for the county’s shortfall as projected by NIFA.

“Although the county has a surplus and money in the bank, this accounting change results in a fabricated fiscal emergency that must be addressed in four days,” Mangano said. “It’s unfortunate, yet necessary in the face of NIFA’s decision.” It is estimated that the county has about $50 million in cash in its reserve accounts. “It does not count towards addressing this paper deficit,” the county executive said.

Calling it “a very draconian plan,” Mangano said that he would have to reduce the workforce by $60 million, and called on NIFA to stop scheduled wage increases for county workers. “Voluntary concessions could prevent some of the most draconian actions that I must take,” he said.

An additional $40 million in cuts would include $15 million in contractual expenses, $15 million in restructuring of the police department, $5 million in the county’s relationship with MTA and Long Island Bus and $4.5 million in reduction of healthcare.

Funding for the LI Bus is currently about $9 million and the MTA is requesting an additional $9 million that says it needs to maintain about half of the current bus routes.

“At this point on this mandate in the accounting rules, it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to meet their expectations,” Mangano said, acknowledging that there would almost now certainly be a move toward a privatization of the bus company.

The county executive intends to reveal details of his revised budget on Tuesday as well as a complete list of “temporary” cuts, which would be implemented on July 1 and savings based off of the later six months of the year. The cuts would affect “hundreds” of county employees and well as every single county department, some more than others.

“Services will be affected, contractual services will be slashed,” Mangano said. “We will be mindful of the health safety and welfare of our citizens first.”

When asked about the current contracts with county union employees, Mangano said that we believe during a control period we have the ability to layoff. There is now a control period, we will use that as a tool to meet the new rules.”

Denis G. Kelly March 16, 2011 at 10:38 PM
I think the County Executive has been put in a good position. Today, no executive can avoid raising taxes without addressing spending. With an economy that is still sluggish and recovering from a devastating recession, government payrolls will require any executive to increase taxes or manipulate the budget with accounting tricks or smoke and mirrors, to claim that he will not raise taxes and retain personnel and services. Our present County Executive has been told that his budget is "too good to be true", which it probably is. The only real way to maintain spending and not raise taxes, requires a growing economy to increase tax revenues. The County Executive can be a real leader in present circumstances and play the hand he has been dealt, but he should be given every tool in the arsenal, which includes the ability to renegotiate with the unions. Nassau County must figure out a new way of doing things and the County Executive has been forced into an opportunity to do just that.
Frank Lombardo March 17, 2011 at 12:41 AM
Nassau County should sell the land that the coliseum is built on to Charles Wang so he can build a new arena for the Islanders. It provide a good tax base and provide much needed construction employment.
Vin March 17, 2011 at 12:42 AM
The County Executive like all politicians previously refused to do some real meaningful changes. Every taxpayer knows that the County payroll is bloated with personnel especially appointive patronage positions. Its time to fire or layoff those political appointees who have been living off the taxpayer for make work no show jobs. The other issue that he refuses to address is the outrageous medicaid budget being driven by the welfare class and the illegal aliens. We are supporting an underclass that has been moving into Nassau from NYC. How long can that problem be covered up for?
john March 17, 2011 at 02:57 AM
I first think he should turn in his county car since it is being used by one of his campaign workers. It is a black Lincoln Town car GOP1.
john March 17, 2011 at 03:29 AM
stop going after the unions . the unions have beeen giving back for the longest . Years ago when wall street was booming and everyone was making money hand over fist no one cared about the unions then , but unions still were giving back percentages of thier salary .. Now people out of work and the unions have to give back , how come those people didnt give back when they were making money yrs ago .
Jim Tisdell March 18, 2011 at 08:47 PM
The unions, and in particular, the governemnt unions, need to be drastically reduced in all areas... pay, benefits, and retirement pensions. I hear them clamoring " we lost our pension money due to the market, so now you stupid taxpayers have to replenish the money we lost" ... this is the union mentality. Im sorry, but who do I turn to to replace the money my investments lost in the past 2 years... ? No one, that's who. These unions have driven the county to the brink of bankruptcy. Time to slice em and dice em. Start with the patronage jobs... that alone will save several million per year. Then on to the police ,,,, and the DPWs, and finally the teachers... Cant live beyond your means anymore... Barney Frank taught us that, didnt it?
Yankee Man March 19, 2011 at 03:19 PM
The goverment needs to reduce the worf force immediately. If a family has less income than it cuts its budget. It the same with a busines sor goverment. I do not knock goverment workers. Most poepl eare hard working and good citizens. There are just to many people on the payroll. From Police to civilians we need a small highly motivated work force. The unions have corrupted the system by giving big donations in return to benefits and perps that the private sector could only dream of. We cant afford all this anymore. We have to do this, that doesnt mean we have to enjoy it. LET THE CUTTING BEGIN!!!
Scott Clarke March 19, 2011 at 08:26 PM
Why can't you just raise property taxes to $25-30k a year? Exempting teachers and police, of course. Everyone can just take on another job; sleeping is so overrated. Delay your retirement to age 70, so you can provide for municpal union workers age 47 retirements. The ordinary citizen is SO selfish.
Scott Clarke March 19, 2011 at 08:27 PM
If you want to make some REAL money, I say invest in "house for sale" signs. They will be selling like hotcakes. (the signs, that is; not the houses)
William Duckfield March 21, 2011 at 02:14 PM
Let's trade the Islanders and Mangano to Wisconsin for Scott Walker.
Joe March 21, 2011 at 03:03 PM
Let's trade all of Long Island to Canada for a couple of draft picks.
Jim Tisdell March 21, 2011 at 04:56 PM
Scott said ... " Why can't you just raise property taxes to $25-30k a year? Exempting teachers and police, of course. Everyone can just take on another job; sleeping is so overrated. Delay your retirement to age 70, so you can provide for municpal union workers age 47 retirements. The ordinary citizen is SO selfish." Well said Scott, well said.
Captain Kirk March 21, 2011 at 05:22 PM
The sad issue is that as expenses to live here get more out of hand then there will be less people to pay further increasing their burden. How much more can the public pay?
Craig March 25, 2011 at 04:06 AM
Also eliminate tax Challenges everybody pays what he owes, and stop crying about it
Craig March 25, 2011 at 04:07 AM
Not going to happen Wang and Smith do not like each other - So screw the public.
Craig March 25, 2011 at 04:09 AM
That problem is pushed down on us from Albany. FIX Albany
Craig March 25, 2011 at 04:10 AM
All town cars are leased with a few exceptions. Dumping the cars will save on the leases.
Craig March 25, 2011 at 04:16 AM
Because they are Wall Street, The golden people. The rich in are town are the only ones with something to loose. Hell they want to rob me - they will get some new pens (Paper Mate) and a TV do I need the police. I do not care if two drug deales want to shoot each other I say good, Get them off the street and in the ground.
Craig March 25, 2011 at 04:21 AM
Teachers and Police are the problem NOT ALL UNIONS.
Craig March 25, 2011 at 04:24 AM
I am getting out of Nassau, Sold my house in Plainview to a well lets say a person, Not knowing what going on. BYE
Craig March 25, 2011 at 04:25 AM
You do not want scott - do your history.
Craig March 25, 2011 at 04:27 AM
What do you think we will get.
Craig March 25, 2011 at 04:30 AM
It is not the Municpal unions it is the school and Police - The Long Beach school dist. just put a school tax incress to its town, I guess school dist care......................About what?
Craig March 25, 2011 at 04:31 AM
Not much - this was the gold cost - past tence
mark martin December 18, 2011 at 04:01 PM
im on probation for dwi the probation dep is so poorly (no pun)run- when you go at the time told they call out for the officer please come to the desk 2 hours later i would get called in--where are they hanging out--- my officer is not there 80% of the time-i wish i could miss work like that and get payed ya to much fat in the dep

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