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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Press Releases

February 07, 2014, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

DiNapoli: 'Early Warning' System Finds 15 Villages in Fiscal Stress

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring System has identified 15 villages in New York in some level of fiscal stress. DiNapoli’s office evaluated 535 villages with fiscal years ending on May 31, 2013.

“Although the number of villages designated as fiscally stressed is small, village officials across the state must be on alert,”said DiNapoli. “Moving forward, the drivers of fiscal stress will continue to hamper villages in many of the same ways it does our larger municipalities. I continue to emphasize to local officials that the best way their community can avoid falling into fiscal stress is through sensible budgeting and careful long-term planning.”

Using financial indicators that include year-end fund balance, cash position and patterns of operating deficits, the Comptroller’s system creates an overall fiscal stress score which classifies whether a municipality is in “significant fiscal stress,”in “moderate fiscal stress,”“susceptible to fiscal stress,”or “no designation.”

At present, four villages have been classified as in “significant fiscal stress,”four in “moderate fiscal stress,”and seven as “susceptible to fiscal stress.”

DiNapoli’s monitoring system previously identified a total of 142 municipalities in some level of fiscal stress. This list included 16 counties, 18 towns, five cities and 87 school districts. The system had also identified one village in fiscal stress that has a Dec. 31 fiscal year end date.

There are a total of 551 villages in the state. Ten have a Dec. 31 fiscal year end date and are therefore not included on this list. Another six have a July 31 fiscal year end date and will have their scores released later this year.

According to a report issued today with the fiscal stress scores, villages in fiscal stress share a number of common characteristics. Nearly all operate with both low fund balance and budget deficits. More than 40 percent have relied on short-term debt to bridge cash flow gaps.

Fiscally stressed villages also share a number of environmental themes, including: declining property values, above average or growing child poverty rates and a shrinking employment base.

The report also found:

  • Downstate villages overall are slightly gaining population, while upstate villages continue to experience declining population;
  • Median property values in downstate villages is nearly $170,000, while the median value in upstate villages barely tops $40,000; and
  • Unemployment rates vary between upstate (8.6 percent) and downstate (7.1 percent) villages.

For a list of the villages designated in fiscal stress, visit:
http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/fiscalmonitoring/pdf/stress_list2013.pdf

For a complete list of village scores, visit:
http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/fiscalmonitoring/pdf/municipalities_summary_list2013.pdf

For a copy of the report on fiscally stressed villages, visit:
http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/fiscalmonitoring/pdf/FiscalStressSummaryResultsVillages.pdf

To search for a specific local government’s fiscal stress score, visit:
http://wwe1.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/fiscalmonitoring/fsi1a.cfm

For an overview of Comptroller DiNapoli’s Fiscal Monitoring System, visit:
http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/fiscalmonitoring/index.htm


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