Ed Day, Rockland County Executive
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 23, 2015
Contact: Scott Salotto (845) 638-5645
FISCAL STRESS EASED: STATE COMPTROLLER RECOGNIZES ROCKLAND COUNTY FOR SENSIBLE BUDGETING AND STRONG FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
Rockland County Shows Dramatic Improvement In Fiscal And Economic Stability
NEW CITY, NY -- Rockland County this week showed a dramatic improvement in the New York State Comptroller's "Fiscal Stress Monitoring System" scoring, which looks at both financial indicators and aspects of the external environment, such as employment.
For the first time since Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli launched the statewide fiscal stress system, Rockland County saw an impressive, 20-point improvement, removing the designation of New York State's most fiscally-stressed local government, thanks to the rebuilding of the County's fund balance and low debt service percentage, among many other factors.
In 2014, Rockland County scored a 65.8% on the Comptroller's scale. The score is a marked improvement from the 2012 and 2013 scores of 86.7%.
DiNapoli developed the monitoring system in 2013 to serve as an "early warning" of fiscal stress to local governments based on financial information and aspects of the external environment. A score of 65% to 100% indicates a significant degree of fiscal stress. A score of less than 65% indicates only moderate fiscal stress, of which Rockland County is less than one percentage point from being upgraded.
"The huge reduction in our score is the result of our continued commitment to fiscal responsibility, accountability and economic improvement," said County Executive Ed Day. "During the past 21 months, my administration has worked hard to overcome significant operational challenges and re-establish financial stability. We continue to reduce costs through consolidation and efficiency and rebuild our fund balance, while continuing to provide the critical services local residents rely on. Our aggressive efforts have been recognized by Comptroller DiNapoli and the leading credit rating companies, as we have seen our bond rating upgraded by Moody's and Standard & Poor's."
The Fiscal Stress Monitoring System looks at two main components: (1) financial indicators, and (2) environmental indicators:
Financial indicators evaluate budgetary solvency, the ability of a locality to generate adequate revenue to meet expenses by measuring year-end fund balances, operating deficits/surpluses, cash position and use of short-term debt for cash flow.
Environmental indicators capture trends that influence revenue-raising capability and demands for services. Those indicators include population, age, property values, employment, dependence on revenue from other government units, constitutional tax limits and sales tax revenue. The Comptroller's Office notes that these environmental factors are largely outside of a local government's control, but provide insight about the challenges confronting communities.