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State finance board to review Amityville’s financial picture

Amityville Village Hall's is shown in this undated

Amityville Village Hall's is shown in this undated file photo. Credit: Steve Pfost

A New York State municipal finance advisory board that is part of the state’s Division of the Budget will perform a comprehensive review of Amityville Village finances in coming months.

The review, carried out at the request of village officials and approved by the state Financial Restructuring Board last Monday, will draw on several years of village financial reports, contracts and payrolls with the aim of improving financial planning and finding savings through consolidated or shared municipal services.

Amityville could be the first Long Island municipality to undergo such a comprehensive review by the board.

The village qualified for the review because its property tax rate of $8.342 per $1,000 of assessed value was higher than the tax rate in three quarters of state municipalities for the most recent fiscal year. The village also qualified because its average fund balance over the last five years falls under the state threshold for general fund expenditures.

Village finances appear to be improving, though.

Credit ratings agencies have issued several upgrades of village debt in recent years and the New York State Comptroller’s Office, which compiles an annual fiscal “stress” list for villages, judged Amityville to be only “susceptible” after two straight years facing “significant” stress.

Division of Budget spokesman Morris Peters said the restructuring board will make recommendations based in part on what strategies have worked and failed in other municipalities.

“They have best practices in mind from other local governments and they try to seek out opportunities for shared services and to wring out whatever efficiencies they can,” Peters said.

The board’s recommendations are not mandatory, but some may come with state grants if the village enacts them.

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