Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

A state watchdog can’t stop Nassau from borrowing but it is required by law to give its opinion every time the county goes to the market.

And the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, a state-appointed board that monitors the county’s finances, is continuing to scold Nassau for borrowing to pay operating costs.

The county is planning to soon borrow $146.6 million, including $20.1 million for capital projects, $86 million for retirement incentive costs, $20.5 million for judgments and settlements and $20 million for property tax refunds.

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NIFA and other financial watchdogs contend that judgements, retirement costs and tax refunds are operating costs and should be paid through operating funds, not borrowed money.

“We repeat our longstanding position that the use of long-term debt to fund operating expenses and working capital is imprudent and fiscally unacceptable,” wrote NIFA last week to County Executive Edward Mangano in a letter signed by NIFA chairman Ronald Stack.