Peekskill Remains on Strong Financial Footing as Reflected in Revised Stress Test Scores
Peekskill’s strong financial position was affirmed this week when New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s issued a revised version of the Fiscal Stress Test list first released on June 18. The fiscal monitoring system was established in 2012 to help municipalities throughout the State gain an objective analysis of their budgetary and financial position.
The system defines three levels of financial stress (Significant, Moderate and Susceptible), and includes a “no designation” category for municipalities facing no fiscal stress. Peekskill received a fiscal stress test score of 30.42 percent, indicating the city is not facing fiscal stress. The score is better than most similarly sized cities in the State.
“Peekskill is in good financial health,” said Mayor Mary Foster. “The city’s general Fund Balance is in line with the Comptroller’s Office benchmark of 20% and our operating deficits in 2011 and 2012 are substantially below the Comptroller’s Office measure for concern. By reducing costs and finding efficiencies, the Common Council and I have been building a stable financial foundation for the city and plan to have an operating surplus for 2013.”
The score reflects a slight change from the city’s initial grade of 24.2% said Craig Kinns, an official with the Division of Local Government and School Accountability in the State Comptroller’s Office. “We may make some adjustments based on updated information from a municipality or the resolution of outstanding questions,” he said.
The Comptroller’s monitoring system evaluates local governments on a variety of financial and environmental indicators including cash-on-hand, patterns of operating deficits, population trends, and tax assessment growth. A score over 45% indicates some level of fiscal distress. Municipalities with scores of 45% and under are not considered as being in any level of fiscal distress:
· Significant Fiscal Stress (65% – 100%)
· Moderate Fiscal Stress (55% – 64.9%)
· Susceptible to Fiscal Stress (45% – 54.9%)
· No designation (0% – 45%)
The state’s list is based on information provided by 1,000 municipal governments as of August 30, 2013 and covers only municipalities with fiscal years ending on December 31, 2012.
According to the Comptroller’s office, 38 municipalities across the state are experiencing some level of fiscal stress. The Comptroller’s report on Peekskill can be found here. The full report from the Comptroller’s Local Government and School Accountability office can be found here.