Huntington – Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci announced the Town of Huntington scored zero for fiscal stress for the third consecutive year according to New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring System (FSMS) report released on September 22.
“Conservative budgeting and practical, efficient operations management earned us a Zero Fiscal Stress score for the third consecutive year – notably for the year of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci. “I am proud that our team was able to streamline government processes and find innovative ways to take the burden off the taxpayer, even in times of significant strains on resources and fiscal uncertainty.”
The Town of Huntington scored zero, the best score, on all nine Fiscal Stress indicators and was one of only three Long Island Towns with a zero Fiscal Stress score, outperforming all neighboring Towns, while even Suffolk County earned a moderate stress score; zero is the optimum Fiscal Stress score, indicating solid financial position and operations. Scoring reflects each local government’s ability to maintain budgetary solvency, with higher scores reflecting greater risk of stress.
The NYS Comptroller’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring System informs the public about local governments’ financial health by evaluating and scoring municipalities on financial indicators such as year-end fund balance, cash-on-hand, short-term borrowing, fixed costs and patterns of operating deficits. The 2020 fiscal stress scores are based on end-of-year results, and demonstrate local governments’ ability to adapt to fiscal challenges, especially the financial impact of the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis, plan carefully to avoid future fiscal stress and manage their communities through uncertainties.
Fiscal Stress scores (65-100 points - Significant Fiscal Stress; 55-64.9 points - Moderate Fiscal Stress; 45-54.9 points - Susceptible Fiscal Stress; 0-44.9 points - No Designation) are based on financial information reported by local governments operating on a calendar year basis (Jan. 1 – Dec. 31) for 2020.
The system also evaluates population trends, poverty and unemployment to establish separate “environmental” scores for each municipality. Environmental indicators capture trends that influence revenue-raising capability and demands for service; although environmental factors are largely outside a locality’s control, they provide insight about additional challenges confronting a community. Environmental Stress scores (50-100 points - Significant Environmental Stress; 40-49.9 points - Moderate Environmental Stress; 30-39.9 points - Susceptible Environmental Stress; 0-29.9 points - No Designation) provide context to a municipality’s ranking on the Fiscal Stress list.
The Town of Huntington scored 3.3 for Environmental Stress, which indicates minimal, or negligent, environmental stress, an even better score than its previous year’s score for Environmental Stress, 10, which was also designated to be minimal, or negligent, environmental stress.