Halfmoon says finances good

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
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— The town’s financial position improved in 2013, Halfmoon town Supervisor Kevin Tollisen said Wednesday.

In an annual financial report filed with the state comptroller, he said the general fund balance increased from $70,918 to $844,334, and a deficit of more than $500,000 in the highway department was eliminated. It had been anticipated it would take three years to eliminate the highway deficit.

Tollisen said the increase in fund balance was a direct result of moves last year including imposing a spending freeze on non-essential spending, staff efforts to reduce spending and better-than-expected revenues.

A state comptroller’s audit last summer also criticized Halfmoon for spending millions in surplus funds in recent years to support daily operations.

Over the winter, Moody’s Investors Services downgraded the town’s bond rating because of the depleted rainy day fund and what it said was over-reliance on economically sensitive sources of revenue. Standard & Poors cited similar concerns, but left its rating of the town unchanged.

A freeze on discretionary spending continues this year, because sales tax and mortgage tax revenue to date this year are less than anticipated.

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