Written by George Maragos Friday, 04 January 2013 00:00
The adopted $2.8 billion Nassau County budget for fiscal year 2013 represents a 0.2 percent decrease in spending compared to the 2012 budget. For the third consecutive year, the budget holds the line on property taxes with no increase.
The budget is fiscally conservative containing only $60.1 million of revenue and expenditure items considered as having risk. This is the lowest amount of budgetary risk in over four years. The $60.1 million at risk is comprised of $39.1 million in possible lower revenues and $21 million in possible higher expense. This level of risk is about 2 percent of the total budget and should be manageable.
Using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) as defined by the Nassau County Interim Finance Authority (NIFA), the projected risk is $125.1 million. However, the NIFA GAAP risk still represents an 11 percent improvement over 2012 and a 32 percent improvement from 2009. The distinction between the risk as presented under the budgetary basis and the NIFA GAAP basis is attributable to the different treatment of certain revenues and expenses. NIFA GAAP excludes certain income from investments, bond premiums and bond proceeds used to pay expenditures.
The adopted 2013 budget continues the improving fiscal trends established over the last three years by:
• Reducing the Structural Gap to less than $35 million, an 86 percent improvement from the peak in 2009 of $252 million;
• Controlling spending to just 1.3 percent over recurring revenues, the lowest margin since 2004;
• Reducing borrowing to $140 million, approximately 44 percent lower than the average annual borrowing over the prior 5 years, primarily for capital project investments.
The principal budgetary challenges facing the county are its low fund balance, which stood at $40.5 million at the end of 2011, the continuing skyrocketing pension contributions, and the unrelenting increases in state and federal mandated costs. At the same time, the county revenues are essentially flat due to the weak economy. The rating agencies have noted these challenges, evidenced by a Moody’s downgrade in October. The administration, NIFA and the legislature need to work together to address these growing challenges in 2013 and beyond.
Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00
Island Trees Union Free School District faces a few hurdles in its upcoming 2013-14 budget. The loss of the BOCES Geneva N. Gallow building lease and the increasing mandated retirement system (TRS/ERS) adds up to $2 million in lost revenue. The TRS/ERS contributions increased by almost $1.4 million, and the Gallow lease loss totals approximately $500,000, including the utility costs.
Wednesday, 15 May 2013 00:00
What motivates a collector to dedicate a portion of his or her life to searching for the most rare and beautiful forms of a certain item? Is it their love of stamps from all over the world or is it their desire to find the most complex and unique model of a car? From jewelry and dolls to sports memorabilia and computers, a collector’s interests can range from the most bizarre items to the most common. Michael Katz, longtime collector of vintage radios from the 1920s to ’50s, said that the two kinds of things collectors go for are “stuff that’s really unusual and really decorative or the rare and expensive sets.”
Friday, 17 May 2013 00:00
Don’t miss out on the chance to partake in an 8-week spring flying trapeze workshop! There is one space left in the Tuesday class for adults from 6:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., and four spaces left in the Thursday class from 6:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., which is open to all ages.
The workshops will take place at the Aquatic Center at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, New York.
Sign up online at iflytrapeze.com or call 516.640.6995 for more information.
Friday, 17 May 2013 00:00
The Lady Generals lacrosse team at MacArthur High School earned the #1 spot and the title of 2013 conference champions, an accomplishment that last occurred in 2006. The team finished with a conference record of 9-1, succumbing in their only game to Oyster Bay by a one-goal deficit.