The City of Long Beach may present a three-year deficit reduction plan that would increase taxes 14.5 percent after the state Senate last week rejected a bill to allow the city to borrow up to $15 million in serial bonds, according to City Manager Jack Schnirman.
Schnirman and Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, D-Long Beach, believe that Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and fellow Republicans opposed the bailout measure for Long Beach, a Democrat-led city, because Democrats in the assembly opposed a proposal to allow Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, a Republican, to borrow money to pay $41 million in property-tax refunds, which also died on the final day of the legislative session last Thursday, according to Newsday.
Schnirman, who noted that the city does not have to make an immediate decision and will consider other options, said:
"We're extremely disappointed that it appears politics is interfering with this routine approval.”
But Scott Reif, a spokesman for Skelos, said the senate was not going to vote on bills that allowed deficit financing. “I think our position has been that you put your fiscal house in order through reducing spending — we’ve had a policy that we’re not going to do tax increases or deficit borrowing,” Reif told the Long Beach Herald.
The City Council last month voted 3-2 to adopt a $87.9 million budget for 2012-13, which represented a 7.9 percent increase from the 16 percent that was projected in an earlier draft. Two days later, the council voted to submit a home rule request to the state legislature to allow the city to issue up to $15 in bonds to pay down the city’s $10.2 million deficit across 10 years. Skelos introduced the Long Beach-related bill with Weisenberg.