CHENANGO – Chenango County ranks among some of the least fiscally stressed municipalities in New York, according to a report released by the Office of the State Comptroller.
On a list of 57 counties outside New York City, Chenango places fourth in terms of fiscal stress, earning a score of 6.7 percent for the 2014 fiscal year. That’s up only slightly from 3.3 percent score in 2013.
The fiscal stress monitoring system, created and overseen by the New York State Comptroller’s Office, is a statewide initiative to keep municipalities out of the red. The higher the score on a fiscal stress report, the more susceptible a municipality is to potentially devastating financial burdens. Stress scores are based on financial and environmental factors such as a municipality’s total fund balance, operating deficit, debt, population, and poverty and unemployment rates.
Chenango’s placement is a stark contrast to 44 other municipalities across the state (12 counties, 11 cities and 21 townships) that were labeled with some degree of fiscal stress.
Even so, the county still faces a number of financial challenges that will affect on the upcoming 2016 budget, explained Deputy County Treasurer Ardean Young.
“We’re faced with same issues as everybody else,” said Young, citing an unwavering number of state mandates adhered to by every county, as well as an obligation to abide by the state imposed 2 percent tax cap. “We’re not doing bad in relation to other counties, but we would like to see some change in state mandates.”
Despite an overall good fiscal score, Chenango County was dinged in the report for running a slight operating deficit for the second consecutive year. It’s looking at yet another operating deficit for next year...