Governor Signs Two Major Rockland Finance Bonds

After months of waiting New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Rockland County Deficit Finance Act on Wednesday, which will now allow the county to borrow 96 million dollars from the state to begin paying off the 128 million dollar deficit. The next step now is for the county to allow a budget review by the State Comptroller’s Office so they can make further recommendations on financing. According to the bill the county must pay at least 10 million dollars a year towards the deficit, though currently there is no money set aside in the budget. The Comptroller’s office will continue yearly reviews for the ten years the county has to repay the loan. With the approval of the bond County Executive Vanderhoef’s 2014 budget plan will remain intact, as it was relying on the 96 million dollars. According to Vanderhoef of the Governor had vetoed the bill taxes could have raised as high as 20 percent. The plan calls for a 9.9 percent rise in property taxes and if accepted by the Comptroller and the Legislature will go into effect December 5. Vanderhoef stated that the passage of the deficit bond as well as the potential sale of the Summit Park Nursing Home keeps the county on track to solve the fiscal crisis. Also last night the Governor signed a bill that will advance 3.5 million dollars of lottery funds taken from a 30 year period to the East Ramapo School District for the 2014 school year. According to Senator David Carlucci Governor Cuomo signed the bill just before the 11:59 PM deadline Wednesday. Senator Carlucci stated that the bill is a step in the right direction for the district as it specifies where the money has to be spent, the funds will go towards non-mandated programs such as sports, the arts, and clubs. The bill also stated that the District is required to provide financial reports to state officials showing clearly where the money is going until the year 2043.

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