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Colonie's DRP fails to cut deficit

Due to an unstable local and national economy, the Town of Colonie's $5.6 million deficit reduction tax the town had passed in 2008 barely put a dent in its deficit, according to an auditor's report to the Town Board on Oct. 7.

It's in a year a very unfortunate circumstances, said William Freitag of Bollam, Sheedy and Torani, the accounting firm who performed the audit on the town.

Freitag added that the town was not able to predict the downturn of the economy, as they expected the deficit reduction plan to make a much larger impact.

"Originally when you had put that in, you thought it would all go to the bottom line," said Freitag. "However, that time that you put it in place, you didn't realize certain revenue sources would decline on you."

He continued to say the town's sales tax revenue is down $1.7 million town wide, departmental income went down $3 million.

The town recognized a $27,370,000 deficit on Dec. 31, 2008. In 2008, they were able to take a $2,770,000 chunk out of the deficit but were only able to reduce it by $750,000 in 2009.

"Unfortunately, you had the situation where you were trying to put a nice little dent in the deficit and you were impacted by sources out of your control," said Freitag. "It's one of those perfect storm type of things."

While the $5.6 million did lessen the impact of the recession, Town Supervisor said the town did what it could to "stay afloat."

"With the weak economy and under the circumstances, we kept the town from going under and that's basically where the town was at that point," she said. "You can't control the economy but on the same token, the town is still moving forward and that's the positive side of it."

For more information on the 2009 financial report, check out the Spotlight's Oct. 13 print edition for the full article""

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