State control board draws line in sand on Nassau County budget cuts

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Nassau County’s fiscal control board is ordering nearly $18 million in cuts to all departments citing revenue uncertainty in the $2.99 billion budget.

Nassau Interim Finance Authority Chairman Adam Barsky sent a letter last Thursday to County Executive Ed Mangano directing $17.7 million in countywide spending reductions prior to the agency voting on the 2018 budget at its scheduled Thursday meeting. NIFA’s directive comes after it rejected last week most of $31.5 million in cuts and revenue enhancements the Republican-controlled county legislature proposed to help balance next year’s budget. The legislature initially voted along party lines to strip out $60 million in fee hikes from the budget, with NIFA only accepting about half of the proposals.

NIFA’s directive marks the first time since the New York State control board’s founding in 2000 that it has imposed its own changes to the county’s budget. The agency has previously requested changes to cuts or revenue increases, but county officials were able to decide areas to slash.

“The Administration is providing the technical assistance NIFA requested,” Eric Naughton, Nassau’s deputy county executive for finance, said in a statement. “We are preparing the spreadsheets which reflect NIFA’s request cutting all levels of expenditures by an equal percentage across the board and will forward it to them on Tuesday.”

Mangano, a Republican who is facing federal corruption charges, did not seek re-election and will end his eight years in the county executive's office at the end of the month. He will be replaced in January by Laura Curran, a Democratic county lawmaker who defeated Republican candidate Jack Martins on Election Day.

NIFA seized control of Nassau County’s in early 2011 after it failed to balance its budget. The large suburban county, about 15 miles east of Manhattan, has bond ratings of A2 from Moody’s Investors Service and A-plus by S&P Global Ratings.

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Budgets County of Nassau, NY Nassau County Interim Finance Authority New York