Huntington – Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci announced the Town of Huntington scored zero for fiscal stress for the second consecutive year according to New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring System (FSMS) report released on September 24.
“We were in a strong financial position when the COVID-19 crisis hit and the Comptroller’s report confirms just that: the Town of Huntington was prepared to face the increased demands the crisis placed on our operations,” said Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci. “Planning for economic uncertainty in 2021, we will continue to closely monitor our financial condition, further reduce expenditures, streamline government processes and find innovative ways to take the burden off the taxpayer.”
The Town of Huntington scored zero, the best score, on all nine Fiscal Stress indicators and was one of only four Long Island Towns with a zero Fiscal 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 2019 fiscal stress scores are based on end-of-year results, and provide a baseline measurement of local governments’ ability to respond to the financial impact of the COVID-19 public health crisis.
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 2019 (pre-pandemic).
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 10 for Environmental Stress, which indicates minimal, or negligible, environmental stress. Huntington's environmental score indicated a low percentage of households on public assistance, the second highest household income in Suffolk County (and third on Long Island, including Nassau County), low unemployment, and other factors.