November 21, 2007

Niagara County's Fiscal Stability

Kudos to Niagara County for a recent report that indicates that the county is on firm financial footing. On Tuesday night, the Legislature was presented with a report from Moody’s Investors Services, a firm that assesses the credit worthiness of public and private borrowers. Moody's upgraded the county's bond rating for the third time in less than two years.

The report also highlighted some other interesting observations, including Moody’s indicating that it expects the county’s tax base to remain stable in the coming years and possibly improve as a result of ongoing economic development initiatives.

Moody's also noted savings related to employee health care coverage, the influx of revenue and low-cost power from the New York Power Authority’s re-licensing agreement and countywide reductions in spending.

These are positive steps for Niagara County. Unfortunately, the local media tends to ignore the positive and focus on the negative. For a change, let's embrace some good news, not twist it to turn it into a negative, and accept the reality that Niagara County is not all that bad - despite what the naysayers preach. Congrats to the County.

11 comments:

Mr. Pink said...

This story to me is the reason there were not any drastic changes in the political landscape this year. Niagara County is operating efficiently and absent the usual scandals that have plagued it for decades. While Buffalo and Erie County meltdown, we are OK.

Larry S said...

Even Moody's recognized, at least from a financial standpoint, that the county divesting itself of Mt View is a good move, despite the rantings of union leaders and wannabe legislators.

Moody's presents an unbiased snapshot in time of any municipality's finances. At this point in time, obviously things are going well in the county.

Pink is right, the educated voters didn't buy into the hype and negativity. Maybe the Democratic party can espouse their own virtues in the future, instead of misleading & outright false claims.

Anonymous said...

Moody's objective? HAH! They are part of the Maziarz MACHINE! Just like AES, every facet of Niagara County politics, the Kennedy Assination, the Lindbergh Baby, the conspiracy that we never sent a man to the moon, the poisoning death of Bruce Lee, the alleged murder of Pope John Paul I and the Freemasons link to the New World Order.

IT'S THE MACHINE!!! IT'S ALL THE MACHINE!!!

Pink Floyd said...

Welcome my friends, to the Machinnnnnnnnnne.

Haymaker said...

Maybe another sign that all is not gloom & doom. From Business First..

New York added more jobs during the past year than all but four states, says a new report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Nonfarm employment in New York grew 77,700 jobs.

Only Texas, Florida, California and Georgia did better. Texas led the way with a year-to-year increase of 207,100 jobs, followed by Florida's 110,600, California's 109,300 and Georgia's 79,800.

Sail Away said...

Some other good news...

There's a new ranking of states where it's good to be near the top, and New York ranks highly.
The Empire State is 4th best in the country at making information
readily available to the public about public subsidies to businesses, according to Good Jobs First, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that monitors subsidy programs.
The full text of the report as well as an appendix on each state can be found on the Good Jobs First Web site at www.goodjobsfirst.org.

Twenty-seven states provide no online disclosure of subsidies,
according to the report.

Thanks to Jay Gallagher for this info.

pirate's code said...

I heard a rumor that Maziarz owns a black stealth helicopter...now, where is my tinfoil hat?

pirate's code said...

On a more serious note...the county's fiscal stability is to be applauded, of course, and there does appear to be some hints of good news. But let's be clear, county govt. could have the best possible fiscal ratings but our economy remains deeply troubled.

Until we are able to get a grip on the rapid rise of all taxes, and until we are able to break the grip on business growth that is our dysfunctional Albany govt., and until we are able to come to grips with the fact that heavy manufacturing isn't coming back to the regionin any meaningful way, we will continue to lag behind other growth areas of the country.

Niagara County, by itself, has too many school districts, too much government and too much parochialism to completely succeed -- especially if we continue to view NC as an island.

Celebrate success, to be sure, but don't lose sight of everything else that needs to change or needs to get done (or undone, in some cases) to move our economy forward.

Sorry, it's a dismal day I have my gloom face on.

Anonymous said...

I was glad to see the bond rating go up again. I am not sure why our Legislature was quick to congratulate Greg Lewis, though. The news cited AES (the IDA), Mt. View (not Lewis) and efforts to attract business (Legislature?) as factors in the upgrade.

Also, although a fund balance is a factor to be considered, I am not sure why some people keep saying it is the only factor. It's not. And more importantly, the opposite of a good bond rating and positive fund balance is junk bond status and deficit. Should we be somewhere in between? If yes, then where? Food for thought.

Anonymous said...

I was glad to see the bond rating go up again. I am not sure why our Legislature was quick to congratulate Greg Lewis, though. The news cited AES (not Lewis), Mt. View (not Lewis) and efforts to attract business (Legislature?) as factors in the upgrade.

Also, although a fund balance is a factor to be considered, I am not sure why some people keep saying it is the only factor. It's not. And more importantly, the opposite of a good bond rating and positive fund balance is junk bond status and deficit. Should we be somewhere in between? If yes, then where? Food for thought.

Insider said...

Things are going in the right direction at least, but on the other hand, considering how highly taxed we all are, the county SHOULD be in good fiscal condition! It's the spending side they have to focus on. Greg Lewis should get the credit for this, but Legislators from both parties will tell you in 2 years it was all thanks to their hard work.

The County is raking in alot of money from sales tax revenues, especially with the increase in gas prices and influx of Canadian shoppers. Part of the key will be keeping these Canadians in Niagara County, and not Erie County. I agree with SA we should develop more retail choices here, but the economic demographics will tell most major retailers they are better off building as close to the Williamsville/Amherst area as possible. That's where the most of the disposable income in WNY resides.

Finally, a word about the fund balance. While it is growing, it is still relatively too small. Years ago, the state would recommend 10% fund balances for rainy days and unexpected liabilities, and I don't even think the County has hit that watermark yet. These days, fund balances of 15-25% are the standard, in light of how much things cost to repair and replace. The County's infrastructure is getting older by the day, and those associated repair costs are increasing exponentially.