by Max Cea
In the past two years, the Village of Nyack increased property taxes by less than one percent per year. In the prior two years, taxes increased a total of 17.99%. In recognition of this significant turnaround in the financial management of the village, last month Standard and Poor’s gave Nyack an “A” rating for its long-term rating for general obligation debt. Nyack’s improved bond rating resulted from “two consecutive general fund surpluses that have eliminated the deficit, coupled with a general fund projection that shows surpluses through fiscal 2015,” according to the S&P analysis.
The village’s financial position improved considerably in the past two fiscal years, following a January 2010 restructuring that resulted in managerial changes as well as strengthened operational and financial practices. Surpluses in 2011 and 2012 raised the total general fund balance to $336,746 at 2012 year-end, from negative $189,208 at the close of 2010 (May 31).” — Standard & Poors RatingsDirect Report, December 2012
In resolving the deficit problem, significant changes were made in how the village was being run. ‘€œFor the first time in many years, Nyack is being run like a multi-million dollar business,’€ says Mayor Jen White. In 2010, a new management team was hired lead by Village Administrator Jim Politi and Treasurer John Malesardi. Politi and Malesardi introduced new financial controls to better manage spending. ‘€œWe had to create a structurally sound procurement policy, bidding processes, purchasing policies to document everything that was purchased in the village,” says White. Politi and Malesardi worked with Nyack’s creditors to restructure Nyack’s debt, lowering what the village had to payout for debt service. ‘€œThis put us on track to be a real viable municipal entity financially,’€ White said.
Village Board members give Politi and Malesardi credit for turning a $700,000 deficit three years ago into a $160,000 surplus by the end of this fiscal year. “It is hard to rank achievements, but nothing tops this,” says Village Trustee Doug Foster. “This is a huge accomplishment in just a couple years,” he said.
The S&P report also noted:
- The full value [of the Village of Nyack] is $700.8 million, which we consider extremely strong at about $110,000 per capita,” writes S&P.
- The top 10 taxpayers accounted for 9.1% of 2012 assessed value, with the major taxpayers consisting primarily of apartment and condominium developments.
- S&P did comment that at the time this report was issued, although Nyack was in the black, some of its revenue sources were in red. “While we consider the total available general fund balance to be good at 6.8% of expenditures, we note that most of the village’s assets are in the form of receivables ($548,169) and that cash ($142,540) represents just 10 days of expenditures.”
- Nyack says Sandy cost the village around $100,000 which it expects to be reimbursed by FEMA.
- Village 2012 payments to state retirement funds were $505,665.
Source: Standard and Poor’s RatingsDirect General Obligation report for Nyack, NY issued 11/30/12
- 9.49% Tax Increase Is Biggest On Record, 1/24/09
- Nyack Refinances To Keep Tax Hike Low, 4/8/2011
- Nyack To Lower 2011 Tax Increase, 4/24/2011