NYS to Implement System to Diagnose Fiscal Stress

Jan 29, 2013

There’s a new system ready to be put in place in New York State to help identify local governments and school districts under financial strain. The idea is to flag financial problems before they spiral into a crisis.

The New York State Comptroller’s office has finalized plans to implement a statewide fiscal monitoring system to identify local governments and school districts under or nearing financial stress, by classifying their fiscal conditions. Brian Butry is a spokesman for State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

Elliott Auerbach said he tested the system in the fall, during a 60-day comment period for local government and school-district officials, as well as officials from affiliated organizations. Auerbach is the Ulster County Comptroller, and former mayor of Ellenville.

He says the monitoring system is a valuable tool for municipalities.

New York State School Boards Association Spokesman David Albert says the system should be helpful in having an outside voice verify that a school district is in financial distress.

Comptroller DiNapoli will calculate and publicize an overall score of fiscal stress for about 2,300 municipalities and school districts.

That was Brian Butry, who says the comptroller’s office will begin analyzing financial reports from municipalities whose fiscal year ended in December.

The New York State School Boards Association’s David Albert says the fiscal monitoring system should be especially helpful in this economic environment.

He says key for his group was the comptroller offering services and solutions after finding a district to be under financial stress. Butry says Comptroller DiNapoli will offer municipal and school-district officials a number of services, such as helping to design safeguards; multi-year financial planning, and budget reviews.