County approves $45 million in revenue anticipation notes

BY MICHAEL RICONDA

NEW CITY – To ensure cash flow for the current fiscal year, the Rockland County Legislature voted almost unanimously to approve $45 million in revenue anticipation notes on March 4.

The resolution, which was approved by all but two legislators, will allow cash flow in anticipation for revenues from sales and compensating use taxes, the mortgage recording tax, and funds due from state and federal authorities.Tax anticipation notes (TANs) and RANs are commonly used as stop gaps in instances when immediate revenues cannot be guaranteed.

The RANs were characterised by Legislator Michael Grant as a standard procedure which will hopefully become unnecessary as the deficit shrinks. According to him, the county executive’s administration requested the TANs as a “belt and suspenders” solution for the current fiscal year in case the county could not sell its $96 million in deficit bonds.

“This is all about anticipating the unanticipated,” Grant said.

Grant added the resolution would be automatically revoked if the deficit bonds have been issued by March 14. The bonds are expected to have a AA credit rating and the county is expected to find buyers in a timely fashion.

The sole vote against the resolution was cast by Legislator Aron Wieder, who said he favored broader measures to help manage the deficit. Mentioning a State Comptroller recommendation for a multi-year deficit reduction plan, Wieder characterised the RAN as a good start which did not go far enough.

“I think that a real comprehensive financial plan needs to be submitted,” Wieder said.

Legislator Aney Paul was not in attendance and did not vote on the resolution.