Oyster Bay Town credit rating downgraded to junk bond status

Standard and Poor’s handed Oyster Bay the downgrade yesterday, blaming weak management, weak budgetary planning and chronic fiscal imbalances.

Standard and Poor's handed Oyster Bay the downgrade yesterday, blaming weak management, weak budgetary planning and chronic fiscal imbalances.

Standard and Poor's handed Oyster Bay the downgrade yesterday, blaming weak management, weak budgetary planning and chronic fiscal imbalances. (4/28/16)

OYSTER BAY - A group is calling for the resignation of the Oyster Bay supervisor after the town's credit rating was downgraded to junk bond status.

The Long Island Citizens for Good Government stood outside of Oyster Bay Town Hall Thursday and called on Republican Supervisor John Venditto to resign. The move comes just one day after Standard & Poor's downgraded the town's credit rating to junk bond status.

S&P explained the credit downgrade by saying the town is "constrained by weak management based on chronic fiscal imbalances over several years, and weak budgetary planning and estimating."  S&P says the town's rating was also hurt by the fact that it has been late to disclose financial information.

The Town Board was forced to raise taxes by 8.8 percent in 2014, and has also come under fire for guaranteeing loans secured by businessman Harendra Singh, who was later indicted on federal bribery and fraud charges.

Economic analyst Dr. Martin Cantor says the town's junk bond status means it will be charged higher interest rates for borrowing.

"That should mean higher taxes for property taxpayers, unless [the] town makes up for the increased borrowing costs somewhere elsewhere in the budget," he says.

Some Oyster Bay residents say if the town opts to raise taxes again, they may have to move.

S&P gave Oyster Bay a perfect credit rating just five years ago.

 

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