Hudson Valley News
7:40 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Rockland County cash shortfall solutions unveiled

Rockland County faces millions of dollars in cash shortfall, and the Rockland Business Association has taken a detailed look into the causes and potential solutions. Hudson Valley Correspondent Hank Gross has more on the Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress report unveiled Monday.

The general consensus appears to be that the county executive and county legislature must accept responsibility for the problem, which has worsened over the last six years.

Once the RBA board decides which recommended remedies to support, RBA President Al Samuels said they will bring their message to all corners of the county.

“If the total being of Rockland doesn’t survive, then the individual components that many elected officials will address because of political expedience, because of particular belief, they are going to fail too,” Samuels said. “This has got to be addressed in terms of what can we do for Rockland? Rockland needs to survive, Rockland needs to flourish, Rockland needs to thrive.”

The report noted the county projected $70.3 million more in sales tax revenue that has been received over the past six years, and $12.4 million more in mortgage tax than taken in. When projects that never got off the ground but for which revenues were factored in, the total shortfall amounts to $250 million, Pattern for Progress officials note.

Among the recommendations to bail out the county are deficit reduction bonds through the state; a county deficit reduction task force, an independently elected treasurer or comptroller