“The good news is that the number of villages in fiscal stress has decreased and remains low across much of the state,” said DiNapoli. “Local officials, however, must remain vigilant when it comes to both short- and long-term budgeting. By putting together sensible multi-year financial plans, the vast majority of our villages can remain financially stable and others can start to improve their fiscal health.”
DiNapoli’s office evaluated 538 villages, which predominantly have a fiscal year ending on May 31.
Using financial indicators that include year-end fund balance, short-term borrowing and patterns of operating deficits, DiNapoli’s monitoring system creates an overall fiscal stress score which classifies whether a municipality is in “significant fiscal stress,” in “moderate fiscal stress,” is “susceptible to fiscal stress,” or has “no designation.”
In 2015, the three villages that were classified in “significant fiscal stress” were: Potsdam (St. Lawrence County); Pomona (Rockland) and Tannersville (Greene). The four villages listed in “moderate fiscal stress” were: Cherry Creek (Chautauqua); Gowanda (Cattaraugus); Akron (Erie) and Fayetteville (Onondaga).
From 2013 through 2015, a total of 42 villages have been in stress in at least one year. The village of Amityville in Suffolk County is the only village to be designated as fiscally stressed in all three years. The village of Pomona in Rockland County had the largest spike in fiscal stress from 2013 to 2015 – with an increase of 67 percent while moving into the highest stress category.
Of the 548 villages in the state, ten have a Dec. 31 fiscal year end date and are not included on this list. Their scores will be released later this year.
The fiscal stress scores also showed:
· Seven of the nine regions in the state had at least one village in fiscal stress in 2015; the Finger Lakes and Mohawk Valley regions were the two regions without a village in fiscal stress;
· Long Island has seen the number of villages in stress decline from seven in 2013, to four in 2014 and down to two in 2015;
· Thirteen villages moved out of fiscal stress in 2015;
· Nine villages moved into a stress category in 2015; and
· Twenty-four villages did not file necessary data, or filed inconclusive data, each of the past three years and have not received a fiscal stress score during the period.
In January, DiNapoli released fiscal stress scores for school districts. In April, scores for the 17 cities with non-calendar fiscal years will be released. In September, his office will release scores for calendar year municipalities, which includes all counties, towns, ten villages, and the majority of cities.
For a list of villages in fiscal stress, visit: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/
To search the complete list of village fiscal stress scores, visit: http://wwe1.osc.state.ny.us/