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| December 7, 2005
Altmann says legislature must keep watchful eye on sales tax revenue,
Nassau County Legislator Lisanne Altmann (D-Great Neck), chair of the Budget Review Committee, heard testimony this week from several county departments, as she held the last quarterly budget committee hearing of 2005. Legislator Altmann and committee members heard reports from Eric Naughton of the Office of Legislative Budget Review, Commissioner James Lawrence of the Police Department, John O’Connor of the County Correctional Facility and the Office of Management and Budget.
"It is important that the Budget Committee stay on top of budget trends throughout the year,” Altmann said. “This update provided vital information that will help legislators as they face what will be a tough budget season next year."
According to the Legislature’s Office of Legislative Budget Review, the county will end the 2005 fiscal year with $60-$70 million in surplus, but ales tax revenues for this holiday season are weaker than last year, if low growth rates for sales tax continue into 2006, the county could experience a shortfall in revenue. In addition to this bleak news, the county also faces risks associated with excessive overtime at the Correctional Facility, increasing utility costs, and several unresolved “revenue extenders” still awaiting the Governor’s signature, such as the hotel/motel tax.
“The legislature must remain cognizant of the fiscal impact of any policy decisions that will affect the 2006 budget and out years,” Altmann said.