Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Schmitt and His County Car


Anonymous said...

Were you even at this debate John?

J said...

The debate is on News12

Anonymous said...

How can you be so worried about the GOP, when the dems are destroying this county. Basing the county budget on money Suozzi thought was coming in is never a good idea. How do you explain this John?

Nassau sales tax revenues continue to drop

william.murphy@newsday.com; sid.cassese@newsday.com

October 16, 2007

More bad budget news greeted the Nassau County Legislature last night when its Finance Committee met to hear testimony about the $2.5-billion 2008 budget proposed by County Executive Thomas Suozzi.

Suozzi administration officials confirmed to Newsday before the meeting that sales tax revenues are continuing to drop this year. That means the legislators will have even less flexibility in changing Suozzi's spending proposals for next year because that budget is predicated on this year's actual results.

Before yesterday, the latest bad news arrived Thursday, when the state forwarded a $30-million check to the county to reconcile the difference between actual and projected year-to-date sales tax revenue, the officials said.

That was $3 million less than last year's amount, and indicated that sales tax revenues are 1.44 percent above last year.

However, Suozzi had originally proposed a budget that was based on a 3.9 percent increase in sales tax revenue, and scaled that back to 2.1 percent, a bit more than $1 billion in revenue, in his most recent budget proposal.

Comptroller Howard Weitzman told legislators that he expected the sales tax slowdown to continue into next year and said that collections could be $10 million less than Suozzi has projected.

"With the current slump in housing and automobile sales, and the subprime mortgage-lending crisis, there is an even greater risk that sales tax collections will not meet expectations, even though unemployment remains low," Weitzman said in a report submitted with his testimony.

The director of the Office of Legislative Budget Review, Eric Naughton, said the spending plan was "a disappointment," compared to earlier, more conservative, budgets proposed by Suozzi.

"It is based upon the dubious assumption of numerous optimistic revenue estimates and labor concessions from unions without agreements," Naughton said.

The Nassau County Interim Finance Authority, the county's fiscal watchdog, has already cautioned the legislature against additional spending unless there is additional revenue or off-setting cuts.

"We are presuming the county legislature takes no action to, in any way, deleteriously affect the balance that is now in the budget," said Ronald Stack, the authority's chairman.

Legis. Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury), the presiding officer, assured the board that legislators would act prudently, but she said last week that people should not expect the legislature to restore funding for social services this year, as it had in some years past. "This year, the budget has no wiggle room," she said.

The full legislature is expected to vote on the county's budget Oct. 29.

J said...

Oh Geez....
Budgets are based upon projected revenues. Suozzi was optimistic but the economy that is being wrecked by Bush is filtering down and people can't afford to go shopping as much.

Now Schmitt wants to cut the tax on purchases under $110. That would cost the county upwards of $70million next year. Discretionary spending for next year is all but gone.

Anonymous said...

LOL, so the President is the reason why Nassau's budget's screwed up? Gotta love John, only he could be so stupid to make such a comparison.

Anonymous said...

How about cutting patronage positions (which have doubled under Suozzi to the tune of $24 million) and spending (Did the county really need to give a $5 million gift to the Roslyn Museum?)? That's almost $30 million right there. Maybe you should think outside the box instead of taking marching orders from the Suozzi administration.