From the office of Richard Nicolello, president of the county of Nassau: reaching an agreement – blog
By Richard Nicolello, President of the County of Nassau
After months of negotiations, the legislative majority reached a deal with the Nassau Interim Financial Authority and the Curran administration as part of the county’s debt restructuring project and the 2021 budget.
The Majority achieved their goals, including reducing the time to pay off county bonds, saving hundreds of millions of dollars for county taxpayers, and creating a special fund to reimburse residents and small businesses for money the county owes them for tax refunds.
Earlier this year, the county executive proposed to restructure the county’s debt by $ 435 million over 30 years. The majority resisted the plan, which would have cost county taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in unnecessary costs over the 30-year period.
Faced with majority opposition, the county executive agreed to reduce the obligations from 30 to 15 years. The shorter term will save taxpayers over $ 200 million. The administration also agreed to a provision that will allow the county to repay the bonds during the 15-year term.
The county executive accepted the majority’s proposal for a special income fund for sums in excess of the administration’s estimates in the budget. The reserve fund will ensure that the county’s operations continue during the pandemic while earmarking increased sales tax revenue to pay tax refunds to residents and businesses poorly assessed by the county. The fund can also be used for unreimbursed COVID-related expenses.
In sum, the majority achieved the following:
· Reduced the term of the loan from 30 years to 15 years, which saved taxpayers over $ 200 million over the term of the bonds.
· Creation of a mechanism allowing the county to repay the bonds before 15 years.
· Creation of a dedicated fund to help reimburse residents and businesses that owe tax refunds.
The majority-brokered deal will allow the county to recover financially from the financial impact of COVID-19, without straddling our children and grandchildren with hundreds of millions of dollars in debt.
The Majority Income Special Fund will finally begin to reimburse taxes wrongly charged to small business owners and residents. The majority will continue to stand up for the residents of Nassau and fight to reduce taxes for our overburdened residents.