Thomas DiNapoli, New York State Comptroller
By Joseph Spector
Albany Bureau Chief
ALBANY, NY- Two dozen communities were designated Tuesday as fiscally stressed, including Monroe and Broome counties and the town of Ramapo in Rockland County.
Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said eight counties, three cities and 13 towns made the list of the most fiscally troubled communities. It's the first time that the comptroller has released a list of municipalities facing the most fiscal woes.
Monroe County, based on DiNapoli's scoring of 23 indicators, ranked as the most fiscally stressed local government in the state. Ramapo was second.
"The challenges facing local governments have reached a critical point and these fiscal stress scores should serve as a wake up call," DiNapoli said in a statement. "Taxpayers, local officials and state policymakers need an objective analysis to help them understand the economic and budgetary challenges facing our communities.
Local governments in New York have been under increased pressure as costs for pensions and health care have skyrocketed while tax revenue has stagnated.
DiNapoli's auditors found that nearly 300 local governments had deficits in recent years. He said more than 100 had inadequate cash on hand.
Local governments submitted financial information to DiNapoli's office as of last month.
Eighteen governments were listed "under review" by DiNapoli, and they could also face a warning from his office. Those included the city of Poughkeepsie, and the counties of Rockland, Ulster, Erie and Nassau counties.
The towns of Fishkill in Dutchess County and Saugerties in Ulster County were also under review.
There were also 124 local entities that had not filed, DiNapoli said. Those included the cities of Binghamton, Ithaca and Geneva in upstate and New Rochelle and Mount Vernon in Westchester County.
Tompkins and Westchester counties also had not filed.