State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced that five villages were designated in fiscal stress under his Fiscal Stress Monitoring System (FSMS). DiNapoli evaluated all non-calendar year local governments and designated one village in “moderate fiscal stress” and four villages as “susceptible to fiscal stress.”
The village of Coxsackie (Greene County) was classified in “moderate fiscal stress.” The four villages classified as “susceptible to fiscal stress” are: Chateaugay (Franklin County), Canajoharie (Montgomery County), Huntington Bay (Suffolk County), and Mohawk (Herkimer County). No municipalities were designated in the highest category of “significant fiscal stress” in this round of scoring.
“Federal pandemic relief packages provided significant aid to local governments over the past three years, helping to balance their books during unprecedented circumstances,” DiNapoli said. “Now that funding is winding down and local officials will have to closely monitor their financial conditions. I encourage local governments to use our self-assessment tool to help them budget and avoid potential pitfalls in the coming years.”
The latest round of fiscal scores evaluated local governments with fiscal years ending between Feb. 28 and July 31. DiNapoli’s office evaluated the fiscal health of 519 villages, which predominantly have a fiscal year ending on May 31, based on self-reported data for 2022. The scores also cover the 17 cities with non-calendar fiscal years, including the “Big 4” cities of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers, each of which have fiscal years ending on June 30.
In total, 95 local governments, including the cities of Lackawanna, Olean, Rensselaer, Salamanca and Syracuse, did not file their data in time to receive a FSMS score, a date that is at least three months past their statutory filing deadline. This is a significant increase of 30% from last year. Salamanca and Rensselaer have not filed their data in time to receive fiscal stress scores since 2015 and 2013 respectively.
DiNapoli’s office continues to make sure local governments are aware of both the statutory filing deadlines, as well as the critical filing dates for receiving a fiscal stress score.
“It is important that local officials file timely financial reports disclosing to the public the information they are using to make financial decisions, but we are seeing an increasing number that do not,” DiNapoli said. “When a local government fails to keep this legally required financial information current and accessible, it undermines confidence and accountability in a local government’s finances and forgoes an opportunity to learn of future risks from our early warning system.”
DiNapoli noted the city of Amsterdam in Montgomery County was classified in “moderate fiscal stress” last year and is now classified as “no designation,” while the city of Long Beach in Nassau County was classified in “susceptible to fiscal stress” last year and is now classified as “no designation.”
The system, which has been in place since 2012, assesses levels of fiscal stress in local governments using financial indicators including year-end fund balance, cash position, short-term cash-flow borrowing and patterns of operating deficits. It generates overall fiscal stress scores, which ultimately drive final classifications. The system also analyzes separate environmental indicators to help provide insight into the health of local economies and other challenges that might affect a local government’s or school district’s finances. This information includes population trends, poverty and unemployment.
DiNapoli’s office has a self-assessment tool that allows local officials to calculate fiscal stress scores based on current and future financial assumptions. Officials can use this tool to assist in budget planning, which is especially helpful during periods of revenue and expenditure fluctuations.
In January, DiNapoli released fiscal stress scores for school districts. In September, his office will release scores for municipalities with a calendar-year fiscal year, which includes all counties, towns, most cities and a few villages.
List of Villages and Cities in Fiscal Stress
Municipalities in Fiscal Stress
List of Villages and Cities that Failed to File Financial Information
Municipalities that Failed to File or Inconclusive List
Complete List of Fiscal Stress Scores
FSMS Search Tool
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