NIFA to OK county’s plan to save $50M

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s on police termination pay, social services and other expenses to reduce a projected $130 million deficit by $50.3 million by the end of the year.

The county expects to cut $13 million from police termination expenses, spend $5 million less on preschool programs and make $8.5 million in other “across the board cuts” to meet targets set by the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, the county’s financial control board, according to an Aug. 1 letter from county Budget Director Roseann D’Alleva.

The plan also forecasts $17.6 million in additional revenue from fees, rents, interest payments, tax penalties and red light camera tickets.

NIFA Chairman Adam Barsky told Newsday the board will accept the plan but “continue to hold the county’s feet to the fire” and impose more cuts if the county does not follow through.

The plan would keep the county’s deficit below $80 million at the end of 2016 under an agreement it reached with NIFA. NIFA is currently projecting a $130.3 million deficit for the year under generally accepted accounting principals, D’Alleva’s letter says.

Recent NIFA projections indicate the county will end the year with an $18 million deficit because of revenue sources that are unlikely to come through, including money from video gambling terminals that Nassau Off-Track Betting Corp. was supposed to operate, Newsday reported. A NIFA attorney declined to release the board’s projections to Blank Slate Media.

Nassau OTB has transferred its right to operate the gambling machines to Resorts World Casino in Queens in an agreement that’s supposed to generate revenue for the county. But the agency has yet to submit a plan to the state to do so, Newsday reported.

NIFA does not allow the county to use borrowing or reserves to balance its budget. The NIFA board in July rejected the county’s plan to save $23 million, saying it was based on unrealistic numbers, Newsday reported.

The county’s new deficit reduction plan is “prefaced on opportunities that exceed NIFA’s most recent projections,” D’Alleva wrote in the letter.

“Through sound fiscal management the county continues its commitment to ending FY 2016 with a NIFA GAAP deficit that does not exeed $80 million (without using other financing sources), as required by a resolution of NIFA and achieving all set milestones,” D’Alleva wrote.

The county also expects to cut $1.7 million in social service spending, get $3.4 million through a Federal Emergency Management Agency matching program and save $4.5 million in payments it no longer has to make to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, D’Alleva’s letter says.

By Noah Manskar

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