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County Executive

Posted on: April 21, 2020

Curran Provides Residents, Businesses and Taxpayers with an Update on COVID-19’s Impact on County

Curran Provides Residents, Businesses and Taxpayers with an 
Update on COVID-19’s Impact on County Finances & Recovery Efforts

(Mineola, NY) April 21, 2020 – The county’s necessary response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the New York State Pause declaration have resulted in significant negative impacts to the county’s financial plan. Today Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has published the monthly report on the county’s finances as required by NIFA, which shows the devastating impact on the local government’s financial outlook.

Previously Balanced FY2020 Budget Now in Deficit 

Nassau County had previously expected a balanced budget this fiscal year ending on December 31, 2020. In light of the pandemic, the county is now forecasting a shortfall of more than $260 million, out of a total county budget of $3.5 billion. As of now, the county is expecting a 10% decline in sales tax collections, as well as significant reductions in other revenues from the ongoing lack of economic activity, totaling over $300 million. These revenues pay for the salaries and wages of Nassau County’s first responders and all other employees as well as the purchase of goods and services to keep the county’s government running.

In addition, the New York State budget for this year included a new provision allowing the Governor to adjust payments (including State Aid payments to counties) each quarter based on the State’s own revenue collections.

“My finance team is working tirelessly on developing solutions to our current fiscal environment, but we cannot rebound from this devastating crisis alone,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. “While the federal government’s CARES-ACT provides the county with some reimbursement for our COVID-19 expenses, it does nothing to address the devastating loss of almost 10% of the County’s total revenue, which is how we pay our first responders and all other essential services. Washington must act to provide hard-hit counties like Nassau at the epicenter of the global pandemic with more relief in the next federal bill.”

Financial Recovery Initiatives

The county is currently assembling all resources available to stabilize its fiscal condition, including:

  • Applying resources in 2020 that the county had saved with tough fiscal discipline throughout 2019;
  • Leveraging NIFA’s AAA credit rating in credit markets for debt restructuring. With the approval of the State Legislature and Governor Cuomo, the county succeeded in increasing NIFA’s bonding capacity during the closing days of the state’s budget deliberations. NIFA will have greater access to the public capital markets at a lower cost of funds to the county, reducing our overall debt costs over the next few years.
  • The County Executive is pressing our congressional representatives to pass revenue recovery measures for state and local governments based on how widespread the pandemic was to the specific region and to pass an economic stimulus bill for infrastructure.
  • Finally, the county is taking our own cost saving measures to address the dramatic loss of county revenue. Today, the County Executive has sent a memo to all Agency and Department Heads, including independently elected officials, across the county requesting proposed expense savings ideas in their workstreams in 2020 and beyond. Expense reductions are best identified by each department and will begin immediately with a freeze on hiring and nonessential purchases as well as a review of all service contracts.

As part of Nassau County’s work, the county will be finalizing an overall gap closing program for FY2020 and FY2021 later this spring which we will publish with the County’s Midyear Report due on June 30, 2020.

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