The head of the state board that oversees Nassau County, N.Y. finances criticized the county government’s proposed financial plan.
George Marlin, director of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, said the plan breaks the county’s promises. Since January 2011 NIFA has had control over Nassau County’s borrowing.
In 2011 NIFA conditioned approval of a 2012-2015 financial plan on Nassau County finding $150 million in recurring labor savings and the county approving a budget balanced on generally accepted accounting principles in 2015, Marlin said. In exchange for these two conditions, NIFA agreed to approve borrowing to pay for property tax challenges against the county.
“The county has failed both conditions,” Marlin said. “Blatantly and without remorse or explanation.”
NIFA projects the new plan would lead to deficits of $157 million in fiscal year 2015, $190 million in fiscal 2016 and $255 million in fiscal 2017.
Any labor savings have been through a wage freeze that the unions are challenging. They cannot be considered recurring, Marlin said.
“When can NIFA lift controls?” he said. “Never, unless the county wants controls to be lifted and stops borrowing for operating expenses, makes the hard decisions and produces a GAAP balanced budget.”
Nassau County is rated A2 by Moody’s Investors Service, A by Fitch Ratings, and A-plus by S&P.
When the spokeswoman for Nassau county executive Edward Mangano was reached for a comment, his government did not specifically respond to Marlin’s complaints.
“We thank NIFA for recognizing the cost cutting measures this administration has taken to help close the budget gap inherited from [former county executive] Tom Suozzi,” said deputy county executive for finance Tim Sullivan. “County executive Mangano’s fourth no-tax-hike budget continues to pay down the millions in debt inherited from the Suozzi administration.”