Written by George Maragos Thursday, 27 June 2013 00:00
Last week my office released the County’s 2012 year-end unaudited fiscal results and reported that the County is expected to end with a budgetary surplus of $41.6 million. The audited results are expected to be released by June 30, 2013. These results include $9.7 million in unanticipated costs representing the County’s 10% portion of Superstorm Sandy related expenditures. The surplus will now go to replenishing our reserve fund, which will increase to approximately $82 million.
The 2012 budgetary surplus was achieved by controlling expenses, refinancing debt at lower rates, imposing a nonessential hiring and wage freeze, and challenging property tax grievances. The improving economy also helped by increasing sales tax income, which is the biggest source of County revenues.
Although the County manages and reports on a budgetary basis, it also reports its year-end results in additional accounting methods as required by various regulatory organizations. Under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”) as required for governmental financial reporting, the County’s unaudited results end with a surplus of $28.8 million. Under a method prescribed by the Nassau Finance Interim Authority (NIFA) which excludes other financing revenues, the County expects to end 2012 with a negative $85.5 million.
In each of these methods, however, the County performance has improved since 2009 under the previous Administration. On a governmental GAAP, the County result has improved by 150%. On a NIFA presentation, it has improved by 54% compared to the negative $184.3 million recorded in 2009.
The Structural Gap, which has been used historically to measure the financial health of the County, has also continued to improve for the third consecutive year. The Structural Gap has progressively declined to $115.5 million from $251.6 million in 2009, a 54% improvement.
The Structural Gap is the difference between recurring revenues and expenses, and excludes non-recurring items that are customarily used to arrive at the budgetary balance, such as borrowings, and extraordinary items.
The amount of new borrowing by the County during 2012 was held at $191.7 million, approximately 40% less than in 2009. This borrowing was used primarily for termination pay and capital projects.
Continuing the financial improvements will present major challenges to the County going forward. State mandates will continue to present increasing burdens to the County and all other counties unless Albany takes action to control the ever-growing costs associated with Medicaid, pensions and unfunded mandates. The improving economy will help but it is not expected to generate sufficient additional sales tax revenues to offset these rising costs. Additionally, the wage freeze court challenge and the growing property tax liability are additional risks that may have an impact to the County’s operations going forward and must be addressed by the Administration and the Legislature in the 2014.
On a positive note, however, the estimated new property tax liabilities added in 2012 were $58 million, the lowest since 2008, and highlights the improvements in the Assessment System introduced with the Four Year Cycling Assessment Formula.
Friday, 06 December 2013 00:00
Howard Kroplick was just settling in to his new position as North Hempstead’s town historian in April of 2012 when a phone call from a resident who found an old headstone led him into a comprehensive study of all 28 cemeteries within
the town’s boundaries.
Kroplick, an East Hills resident for 29 years, serves in the unpaid role as an advisor to the North Hempstead board, out of his longtime love of history. His exhaustive study of the area’s cemeteries has helped him complete a history of
North Hempstead that will be published in January, which will coincide with the 400-year anniversary of the discovery of Long Island, by Dutch explorer Adriaen Block. It was Block, according to Kroplick, who first identified Long Island as an actual island, not a peninsula as many believed back then. The 128-page book from Arcadia Publishing is the first ever written about North Hempstead.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
For the time being, much of the Roslyn area is without representation on the Town of North Hempstead council. Recently, Thomas K. Dwyer, who has represented Roslyn on that body since 2002, announced that he would step down from the board while he is in negotiations with a Manhattan-based consulting firm.
Dwyer, who is the chief operating officer of Syosset-based American Land Services, would not identify the firm he is talking to, but he said that the new job would represent a conflict of interest with his work on the town board.
Thursday, 20 February 2014 00:00
Albertson resident and Kellenberg sophomore Gabby Schreib qualified for the Millrose Games in New York City. Schreib qualified as a member of the Sprint Medley Relay along with Danielle Correia, Bridget McNierney, and Jazmine Fray.
The Kellenberg relay’s close second place finish in January’s Millrose Trials has moved them closer to defending the title they won in the same relay at last year’s Millrose Games. Schreib and her teammates time is currently second in the United States for girls track and field performances.
Thursday, 06 February 2014 00:00
Registration for Farmingdale’s Over the Hill Gang Softball League will take place Feb. 1, Feb. 8 and Feb. 15, from 10 a.m. - Noon at the Allen Park meeting room on Motor Ave. in Farmingdale. The league is open to men 40 and over who live in Farmingdale or the Town of Oyster Bay area. Players can also apply online at www.othgny.com, however must attend one registration session to show proof of age and residency.
— Submitted by Jerry Mazza