As deficit-plagued Suffolk County struggles to get its finances in order, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli dropped salt in the wound Wednesday, naming the county among the most money-tight governments in the state.
DiNapoli, in a report based off his office's new Fiscal Monitoring System, named Suffolk, Rockland, and St. Lawrence counties, as well as the city of Poughkeepsie, the town of Fishkill and the village of Islandia as the most "fiscally stressed" in the state. Suffolk scored a 73.8 Percent score on the state's fiscal test, with 100 percent being the worst possible score a government could receive.
Nassau County, which has battled financial problems for years, and has seen a state oversight board step in to help balance the government, scored better than Suffolk.
Major issues that led to Suffolk's low score included little cash on hand, a low fund balance and a pattern of operating at a deficit. The county is still looking at a $180 million deficit in 2014, which is lower than the $300 million deficit the county faced in 2013.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has already proposed a 2104 budget that he said could balance the budget. The $2.75 billion budget, which would need legislature approval, cuts spending, pushes for debt restructuring and rests heavily on staff reductions in 2103 that will save the county about $100 million in 2014.