ALBANY, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released the latest fiscal stress scores for municipalities across the state on Tuesday, September 26.
According to DiNapoli, 14 local governments across the state ended the last fiscal year with a fiscal stress designation, down from 20 a year ago. Of the nine that were announced on Tuesday, one municipality was designated to be in fiscal stress: the City of Little Falls, which was deemed to be in Moderate Fiscal Stress. The village of Mohawk was added to the list in March, deemed to be Susceptible to Fiscal Stress.
The city has been on the Comptroller’s Fiscal Stress list six times in the last ten years, the last time in 2019. They have failed to report the last two years and were deemed to be in Moderate Fiscal Stress the last time they filed that year. They are one of 20 municipalities that have spent five or more years in a fiscal stress designation over the last ten years. The only other local municipality that made the list was the Town of German Flatts, which has had no designation since being named under Significant Financial Stress in 2016.
“Our fiscal stress early warning system identifies potential financial problems for local governments so they can take corrective action to avoid problems down the road,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “The fact that fewer local governments were in fiscal stress in fiscal year 2022 was largely due to the infusion of aid from the American Rescue Plan Act and sales tax revenue growth. Sales tax collections have leveled off in recent months and federal dollars are being spent down, so localities should plan their budgets cautiously and accordingly.”
Several municipalities also did not file their annual financial reports in time to receive a fiscal stress score. In total, 209 did not file, up from 121. According to DiNapoli, his office will undertake targeted outreach and training with local governments to bring their reporting up to date. Local municipalities that did not file their reports in time include:
Oneida County: Holland Patent, New Hartford, Remsen, Steuben, Whitestown.
Otsego County: Decatur, Edmeston, Exeter, Gilbertsville Pittsfield, Richfield.
Herkimer County: Dolgeville, Frankfort, Herkimer, Fairfield, Middleville, Norway, Russia.
According to DiNapoli, the number of cities and villages in stress designations across the state decreased over the past fiscal year. Only 11 percent of New York cities and 1.1 percent of villages were in some form of fiscal stress in 2022, down from 16 and 2.2 percent, respectively.