Nassau Must Cut $18M from 2018 Budget & Face Facts on Illegal Fees

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Nassau County’s budget has gotten so out of control, that financial analysists have ordered public officials to cut nearly $18 million in spending.

Newsday reports that for the first time in its 17-year history, the Nassau Interim Finance Authority will increase its control over the county’s budget process.

In addition, Newsday writes that NIFA Chairman Adam Barsky said the agency was “left with no other choice” after Nassau officials failed to make necessary changes after NIFA reviewed their preliminary budget.

Now the agency has ordered the county to cut $17.7 million across all government departments. But this comes as no surprise, after NIFA repeatedly warned the county that it could not sustain its projected spending increases.

In fact, in a prior blog post Reclaim wrote that NIFA was expected to reject County Executive Ed Mangano’s proposed budget. Mangano had increased spending to $2.99 billion in his preliminary budget and proposed hiking fees by $60 million.

NIFA ultimately determined that this draft budget included nearly $128 million in projected risk as the county’s expenses outweigh its revenue.

While the fee hikes were later stripped from the budget, NIFA warned that public officials still needed to make cuts or create alternative revenue generators.

Even though the fee amounts weren’t increased, the budget still relies on existing revenue from fees. NIFA regards that as unreliable revenue. It’s also illegal. A point driven home Tuesday by a State Supreme Court decision that declared unconstitutional Nassau’s scheme to raise revenue with fees related to property tax assessment forms.

Newsday reports that NIFA is expected to approve the revised budget when it meets on December 7.

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