For Immediate Release December 20, 2010
Maragos: NIFA’s Failure To Act Will Cost the
County $5.21 Million in 2011
Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos announced that the Nassau County Interim Finance Authority (NIFA) could have saved the County at least $5.21 million in 2011 if they had refinanced certain County debt under their management, as was requested by the Comptroller.
In a letter dated October 21, 2010, Comptroller Maragos requested NIFA take advantage of historically low interest rates to assist the County in reducing expenses for 2011. The letter was written after several verbal requests were made at various prior meetings with NIFA.
“After ignoring my numerous verbal requests, a written request was delivered to NIFA urging action, and they still failed to take advantage of the low interest opportunities that were available to reduce the financing expenses for the County,” Comptroller Maragos said. “The hard pressed taxpayers of Nassau County deserve better.”
The Comptroller then requested, through the County Budget Office, a formal and independent analysis of refinancing opportunities on the NIFA managed debt. The Budget Office commissioned the Public Financial Management Group (The PFM Group), the largest municipal financial advisory firm in the Country, to conduct this analysis. Their report delivered on December 10, 2010 confirmed that the County could have saved at least $5.21 million in 2011 if NIFA had refinanced certain County debt under its management.
NIFA was established in June of 2000 by the New York State Legislature to oversee the County’s finances and assist the County in remaining financially stable. NIFA has a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that the County pays the lowest interest rate expense possible on the $1.65 billion County debt under its management.
Comptroller George Maragos concluded, “the inaction of NIFA to refinance County debt and save at least $5.21 million in 2011 is reckless and irresponsible.“