NIFA reviews Mangano 2018 budget proposal

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UNIONDALE -

The board overseeing Nassau County's spending reviewed the county executive's new budget proposal Tuesday night, and officials said the latest proposal makes progress in reducing the deficit.

Executive Ed Mangano's budget proposal for 2018 faced scrutiny from the Nassau Interim Finance Authority as the county faces a projected $54 million budget gap.

Alan Barsky, the NIFA chairman, said Mangano's latest plan contains "manageable" risks.

"The thing we're concerned about now is that if the Legislature does not approve the various items to increase revenues, that'll leave a gap and a shortfall," Barsky said. "That would have to be offset with cuts to the budget further than what's in the budget."

NIFA has already warned Mangano to cut spending by about $100 million. The authority has proposed eliminating crossing guards, privatizing ambulance services and closing the Police Marine Bureau -- all controversial moves.

The Mangano administration says that it has done its part to cut spending and says NIFA's suggestions will result in the elimination of important services and massive layoffs.

Instead, Mangano is proposing tax and fee increases, even though it's unclear whether the Republican-controlled County Legislature will approve those in an election year.

"I think after they keep reading various reports and understand the importance of having a balanced budget, hopefully, they'll do what we think is the right thing," said Eric Naughton, the deputy county executive for finance.

Mangano's 2018 budget proposal calls for increasing taxes by 0.8 percent in order to fund the county sewer system. It would also raise about $60 million in fee increases for things like traffic tickets and real estate transactions.

If legislators fail to approve a balanced budget by Oct. 30, NIFA will step in and impose cuts.

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