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Report ranks municipalities fiscal, environmental stress

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    Scores greater than or equal to 45 indicate a municipality is susceptible to fiscal stress, greater than or equal to 55 indicate moderate stress and greater than or equal to 65 indicate significant stress. The village of Hunter did not file for the 2018 report.
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    FILE -- Thomas DiNapoli, New York state comptroller, at his office in New York. Michael Appleton/The New York Times
March 22, 2019 10:02 pm

The village is susceptible to fiscal stress, according to a report from the state comptroller Thursday.

The state’s fiscal stress monitoring system, which began in 2012, considers year-end fund balance, cash position, short-term cash-flow borrowing and patterns of operating deficits when making determinations.

The report, which was released Thursday, evaluated 525 and 17 cities and showed the villages of Catskill, Canisteo, Fultonville and Sackets Harbor are susceptible to fiscal stress.

The cities of Amsterdam and Long Beach are experiencing significant fiscal stress, the city of Yonkers and villages of Valley Stream, Island Park and May Brook are experiencing moderate fiscal stress, according to the report.

“Our indicators show fiscal stress remains relatively low among New York’s villages, while some cities continue to struggle,” state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said in a statement. “Local officials are encouraged to continue to be mindful about how budget practices today impact budgetary solvency in the future. This system is designed to help keep local officials and the public informed on the financial and demographic drivers of fiscal stress.”

Fifty-one villages and three cities failed to file the necessary and required annual financial reports and did not receive a score, according to the report.

The village of Hunter was one of the state villages that did not file. Village Clerk Kathleen Hilbert said Hunter still plans to file for 2018.

To fall into the susceptible category, municipalities must have a score greater than or equal to 45, 55 for moderate stress and for significant stress, a score of 65.

“The lowest score is the best score,” Greene County Treasurer Peter Markou said in September.

The village of Catskill received a score of 52.5 in 2018, 49.2 in 2017 and 50.2 in 2016 — all that fall within the susceptible category.

Village President Vincent Seeley and trustee Joseph Kozloski declined to comment, saying they had not reviewed the report as of Friday afternoon.

The villages of Athens, Coxsackie and Tannersville had scores below 45 for the past three years and received no designations.

The village of Hunter received no designation for 2017 and 2016, but did not file for 2018.

Another score municipalities receive is for environmental stress, which factors changes in population size, population demographics, home values, home income level, unemployment rates and usage of public assistance/federal and state aid.

A score greater than or equal to 30 designates a municipality as susceptible to environmental stress. A score of 40 indicates moderate stress and 50 for significant stress.

Catskill ranked susceptible to environmental stress in 2017 and 2018 with scores of 36.7 and 33.3, respectively.

Coxsackie moved into the susceptible category in 2018 with a score of 30.

Municipalities that operate a fiscal year from January through December will be evaluated in September with a second report.

All fourteen Greene County towns — and the county as a whole — received no designations for 2017-2015.

Environmentally, the towns did not fare as well.

Prattsville and the county received a moderate ranking with scores of 43.4 and 40, respectively.

Athens, Cairo, Catskill, Jewett and Lexington received susceptible rankings with scores of 36.7, 33.3, 30, 33.3 and 36.7, respectively.

In Columbia County, the county, city of Hudson and all towns did not receive designations in 2017.

The villages of Philmont, Valatie and Kinderhook did not receive designations in the 2018 report. The village of Chatham did not file in time to be featured in the 2018 report.

For the 2017 environmental scores, the towns of Austerlitz and Clermont were ranked as susceptible with scores of 33.3 and 30, respectively and Columbia County received a score of 36.7.

The town of Hillsdale and city of Hudson received moderate rankings, with scores of 43.3 and 46.7. The village of Chatham did not have an environmental score listed.

To view the full report, visit

The report would seem to indicate that the Towns are under-taxed and the Villages are overtaxed relative to the services they are benefiting from. The proposed $90M jail bond will make all this much worse when its tax impacts hit. As for revenue generated: $0.00 - add to that environmental stress and the impact is negative. That's why environmental opportunists like the toxic ash waste disposal business are eying Catskill.