Long Beach Looks to Albany to Bond $15M

Weisenberg and Skelos introduce bill they say will help the city ease its tax burden over ten years.

Legislation is pending in Albany that would allow Long Beach to borrow up to $15 million in serial bonds in order to pay down its $10.5 million deficit over ten years, after the City Council on May 22 voted to submit a home rule request to the State Legislature.

That vote came the same night the council adopted a $87.9 million budget for 2012-13, representing a 7.9 percent tax increase instead of 16 percent. After Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, D-Long Beach, and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Rockville Centre, introduced the bond bill and expressed confidence that lawmakers would approve the legislation, the city said it was able to revise and adopt the spending plan that represents a 2.6 percent tax levy increase and a 5.3 percent deficit reduction surcharge for three years, down from 4.1 and 11.9 percent respectively from the original proposal, according to the Long Beach Herald.

Weisenberg said about the pending legislation that he expects will pass before the current session ends later this month:

“I anticipate that this bill should be passed in the next two weeks. If we don’t stretch this out over a 10-year period, it would have meant a 16 percent tax increase, and we would lose hundreds of jobs.”

But Councilman Michael Fagen said that, while he’s sure Weisenberg’s intentions are noble, the facts are flawed. He contends that the administration is laying off close to a hundred people anyway while increasing the budget. He believes cutting spending first would have been the appropriate measure, and maintains that the bill only “kicks the can down the road.”  

“The city will now assume the Adelson tax increase, which will hit the taxpayers for more than five percent annually for 10 years,” Fagen added. “That will not include any contingencies that may arise, nor replenishment of the rainy day fund.”

The bond proposal comes after the City Council voted unanimously in March to approve a $6 million revenue anticipation note — a short-term debt security issued in anticipation that revenues will meet the city’s repayment obligation — in order to cover payroll, maintain essential city services and help close the deficit to balance the budget before the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

paul.d.spellman June 07, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Rumor has it that Harvey would not agree to sponsoring the legislation unless the bill included funding for a plaque bearing his name to be erected on Kennedy Plaza bearing his likeness.
LBLover June 07, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Fagan is saying that taxes will go up 5% each year annually no matter what?
Love This City June 07, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Patch any specifics on the $15,000,000 Bond? What is this going to cost us? Why do we need to Bond $15,000,000 to pay off a $10,500,000 Note? Seems like they are adding $4,500,000 in anticipation of future unfunded liabilities. It seems as if they know they need at least $4,500,000 so let's just wrap it into one nice package so they do not have to go and borrow more money the next time a Long Beach Police officer retires and needs his payment within 60 days....
Leonard Bauman June 07, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Carpetbagger Kennedy Plaza should be renamed after the best president in American History since 1968: President Ronald Reagan Memorial and President Richard M. Nixon Memorial Plaza. Now, these two presidents a man of fiscal responsibility and a man of world peace are more worthy of the name of the plaza than womanizing, wife cheater, mob donation seeker than mob turncoat John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert F. Kennedy.
LBLover June 07, 2012 at 02:55 PM
You need to read better.. it says up to 15M. I don't understand this thing completely but at the city council meeting they said NY state comes in and does an audit to determine how much the deficit is. It may be 10M like Jack is saying or it could be the 2M Hennessy is saying or worst case scenario it's 15M. Guess we will see how bad the coalition ran this city very soon....
Nathan Jessup June 07, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Fagan is dead on, they have laid off 58 Csea workers,42 part timers and 5 Ufa already.Now , FRANNIE MAE WHO RECEIVED 20k For slipping on sand in long beach,72 hours before becoming council elect is raising taxes 50 percent over ten years. ADELSON 50 PERCENT TAX INCREASE sounds right. I can't believe I voted for this, is it true that Torres is still proud of all the bike paintings on the streets ,good job Len.
Niteislander June 07, 2012 at 04:32 PM
hopefully in his speedo.
plainandsimple June 07, 2012 at 04:51 PM
well, who got us in this mess and how do you expect to get out of it? no one was happy with he quick fix, so spread it out, raise taxes a little, start the rainy day fund so the naysayers can vote out this wonderful administarion and bring someone in to dig the hole deeper instead of filling it in.
ed June 07, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Who got us in this mess? ... 30+ years of throwing money at unions with lucrative contracts in exchange for "block voting", that's who! Many of our Teaches and Police Officers are making more money than Airline Pilots, with better benefits! Note- Our Police Officers, Detectives, Teachers, & School Administrators do a great job, BUT we are reaching the point where $180,000+ for detective with 100% of their Health Insurance Paid for & 100% of their retirement benefits paid for by the city (taxpayers) and over $200,000 a year for a school administrator is just plain breaking the backs of the taxpayers and causing the city to go broke. As a result the city is forced to raise taxes, lay off employees or make the problem worse by borrowing money which will have to be paid back with interest. Borrowing money does not fill in the hole, it digs it deeper. We have many seniors living in Long Beach on a fixed income ... we can't keep taxing them, nor can we expect our children to to pay higher taxes over the years so that a few people who work for the system can retire on $100,000.00 plus incomes on top of a HALF A MILLION DOLLAR PAYOUT! We all know what needs to be done, instead of raising taxes and borrowing money, the lucrative contracts for those who work for the system need to be renegotiated!
delete me June 07, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Why does Fagen care? He's not going to be paying for any of it in prison.
Love This City June 07, 2012 at 05:59 PM
I for one would like to have a ballot initiative requiring a balanced budget and to outlaw ANY NEW city Debt. We must repay our current city debt and live within OUR collective means in the future. You will be amazed at the rise in property values and our education system if we were a model of fiscal responsibility. We need someone who knows Long Beach and can be creative to generate more income and LOWER our taxes. The Boardwalk looks horrible, the grass and weeds have grown higher than ever, the police ranks are now a national laughing stock, we are being run by Mayor Schnirman who was never elected, and we are being used and abused by Brookhaven outsiders. We need to rise up and take back our fiscal future from the city government and the current inept leadership.
plainandsimple June 07, 2012 at 06:22 PM
so why bash the people trying to fix the problem, get out and be part of the argumant when these contracts are up, what is the matter, 30 years of contracts and no aptch to complain on. Imagine coming out of your home and bringing ideas forward in person. yes, it is time to renogiate. so do not ask for anything back from the workers or lifeguards until you show some sense in the police contract- the elephant in the room. the schools hold our kids hostage to continue with over he top raises and steps for teacchers and administrators, not one willing to give up a few bucks for job safety and tax relief, but pick on the hardworking, lower paid union.
Maurice Allen June 07, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Was once told if I'm not a part of the solution, I'm part of the problem. Guess this is true everywhere - even in Long Beach!
Castles Made of Sand June 08, 2012 at 04:14 AM
To Plainandsimple, you don't really believe the solution lies in finding "someone who knows Long Beach and can be creative to generate more income and lower our taxes" do you? LB suffers from disastrous contracts with police, firemen, teachers and administrators, among others. For instance, one of the policemen, who is suing LB taxpayers, gets paid roughly 1 million dollars every 5 years. $200,000 x 5yrs = $1,000,000. That's only 1 of our standing army of policemen. Throw in the teachers, the firemen, administrators, and you will soon realize that your "creative" person is a pipe dream. Here's a creative idea, let's get one of those Albany money trees in Long Beach. Hey wait, maybe those are money trees in the new parking island by Pier 1. You know, the ones with the big ship's anchors so representative of our city's whaling/sailing/tall ship history.
LBLover June 08, 2012 at 10:27 AM
You are right ed
plainandsimple June 08, 2012 at 11:44 AM
not a lot of revenue to produce and very little vision all these years. suggesting that current administration is trying hard to correct some serious problems of past administrations. saying the schools and the police type contracts have broken the camels back. but is the answer to ask the csea o give back thousands per man to alleviate the problem while polce, etc do not budge. The city has laid off, but will trade for givebacks because they need the manpower- so stand tough and some of the workers will be back quick, the workers money will be gone forever. lend us a hand police, fire and teachers and help your sruggling neighbors.
Checks and Balances June 08, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Part of the problem is binding arbitration. Not sure if the City Administrators do this intentionally to pass the responsibility on to others. I do know when a deadlock is reached, it then goes to a reported "independent arbitrator" to settle. I have never read or heard of the police or firefighters losing when it goes to arbitration. They look at surrounding communities and what their police and fire are paid and usually give the same amount. If one municipality gives a "sweetheart" deal then all of the surrounding communities are sure to be stuck as well. That is how many of these out of control contracts occur. I know that is how Suffolk police recently won a huge raise.
Happy Daze June 09, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Yes and since Social Security is going broke, that should be renegotiated too. Why should the retirees get the money they were promised by the government? Cut it in half I say. If the seniors can't live on that in LB, then they should move to Hempstead or something where the rents are cheaper. Right Ed? How's that plan work for ya?
Happy Daze June 09, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Agreed, since a 400K, 2 bedroom bungalow in the west is severly undervalued. (pre 2008 financial meltdown prices of course) Agreed, LOWER the taxes of one of the most undertaxed towns in Nassau County.
Candygram for Mongo June 11, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Nixon? Really?


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