MINEOLA, N.Y. (1010 WINS/AP) — A New York state judge said Monday he would not block a fiscal watchdog’s takeover of Nassau County’s finances.
Justice Arthur Diamond denied Nassau County officials’ request for a preliminary injunction. It would have blocked the Nassau Interim Finance Authority from taking control of the budget.
NIFA was created a decade ago to assist with Nassau’s budget shortfalls. It voted in January to impose a control period. NIFA cited a looming $176 million budget gap.
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano contends the county’s books are balanced and went to court to fight the takeover. He says he is working to fix the county’s tax assessment policies, which have been blamed for rising deficits.
Mangano released a statement Monday calling the judge’s decision “disturbing news for taxpayers.” He added that the decision and NIFA takeover “derails my assessment reforms that provided a path to end borrowing entirely in 2013.”
NIFA Chairman Ronald Stack told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera that he was “very pleased” with the court decision, adding that NIFA and Nassau officials would meet Tuesday to establish how they would “work in a collaborative effort.”
Stack said the county now has five business days to submit a balanced budget and until then no decision would be made on freezing union contractual raises which take effect April 1.
After reviewing the county’s new numbers, NIFA will decide if a fiscal emergency would need to be declared and whether a wage freeze was necessary.
The county attorney said in a statement Monday that he is reviewing the judge’s ruling.
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