WOODBURY - Nassau could face a more than $130 million budget gap this year, according to the Nassau Interim Finance Authority.
In a report released late Thursday night, the Nassau Interim Finance Authority questioned the viability of County Executive Ed Mangano's fiscal plan. NIFA's analysis finds that the plan features "significant risks" that could add up to a $133 million deficit in 2014 alone.
NIFA's report comes more than a month after the county executive submitted his plan to pay for new union contracts. The county, with NIFA’s blessing, reached agreements in May with several of its employee unions to lift a 3-year-old wage freeze. The NIFA report suggests the county is relying in part on "optimistic assumptions" to pay for the new deals.
The plan even prompted NIFA board member Chris Wright to tell News 12 Long Island, "Until we either force the county to solve the problem or solve the problem ourselves, Nassau County will continue to rack up massive deficits and remain under a control period."
NIFA did not hold its scheduled public meeting yesterday, which means it did not vote on any new contracts – including those of correction officers. NIFA Chairman Jon Kaiman says he postponed the meeting due to personal issues. Once the new contract is passed, Kaiman says it will include retroactive pay. The union's president says his members need the money now.
Tim Sullivan, deputy county executive for finance, issued a statement saying, “Nearly all of the risk identified in the NIFA report relates to property tax challenges and the unexpected decline in sales tax revenue. With NIFA support, historic state legislation was recently passed that eliminates the prospective liability from these property tax challenges and the county has put forth other initiatives and budget cuts to address the remaining risk.”