ALL OVER AGAIN.
According to Times Union reporter Ken Crowe II, the New York State Comptroller's Office may be back in Troy.
"The city faces the return of state control of its finances because of a potential $2.4 million deficit in its proposed $68.6 million budget for 2016, according to review by the State Comptroller's Office.
The audit criticizes the city for overestimating revenues for the sale of property, franchise and ambulance fees and sales tax. It notes the city's retirement appropriations may be inadequate.
"The overestimation of these revenues and underestimation of expenditures could have a cumulative negative impact of approximately $2.4 million on the general fund's financial condition," the audit states.
City officials received the audit Tuesday. It is filed with the City Clerk's Office.
"We've got to be monitoring the situation very carefully," Mayor Lou Rosamilia said.
"This is an excellent guideline for it," he said of the audit's recommendations and observations."
Monitoring the situation? Guideline? Less than sixty days in office and time to pull out the stops?
Of course, Rosamilia doesn't shoulder all the blame. We have a city council that could act as a watch dog. The prior administration depleted the reserve fund by approximately $12,000,000 in order to avoid the inevitable problems. Lou almost finished the job of emptying the fund. This is why slight tax increases should be considered even when not absolutely necessary. A 1% or 1.5% increase every year sure beats a 9.3% increase in one year.
Ya' know what? We're almost happy DiNapoli might take over. If that's what it takes, if we need a babysitter, so be it.
To be fair, and we're nothing but fair, it is not solely the fault of elected officials. the residents of old, industrial cities of the northeast need to take an honest look at the facts. Generous pensions, health benefits, cost of living increases and the debt service comprises more than 70% of the budget. Couple that with not actually knowing what will be in the municipal coffers when the budget is proposed and we get a guesstimate, at best.
Given the problem, we welcome State oversight. If our administrations can't do it, maybe Tommy D can.