by Jeremy Moule
[UPDATED 5:10 p.m.] County Executive Maggie Brooks just sent out this statement responding to the report from the Comptroller's Office:
"The Comptroller has confirmed what everyone already knows: crushing state mandates are threatening the fiscal stability of local governments. Using Mr. DiNapoli’s math, Monroe County would need to raise local taxes by $100 million to stay off of his list while paying for the mandates that account for 83% of our budget. Clearly, that is not an option. If Mr. DiNapoli is serious about solving fiscal stress, he must work with his colleagues in Albany to fix the mandate problem."
Original post: The state Comptroller's Office says Monroe County is in significant fiscal stress and is perhaps the most stressed local government in the state.
This morning, the office released a list of municipalities that it considers to be under varying levels of fiscal stress. The rankings were based on aspects of 2012 finances, such as end-of-the-year fund balances, operating deficits, and use of short-term debt. The rankings also considered certain trends facing the community, including poverty levels, employment base, age of the population, and sales tax revenues.
Monroe County scored high on fiscal stress criteria, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise. For years, the county government has struggled with a recurring structural deficit. For example, when county officials were preparing the 2013 budget, they had to plug a $48 million hole.
County Executive Maggie Brooks has not yet commented on the report.
The Comptroller's Office has a page devoted to its municipal fiscal monitoring efforts: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/fiscalmonitoring/lists.htm.