Suffolk County has just announced that it is facing a $500 million dollar deficit. Yup, that’s half a billion dollars.
Suffolk has a three-year deficit of $530 million, Bellone said in a statement announcing the emergency on the county’s website. The declaration gives him the authority to withhold as much as 10 percent of each county department’s budget, he said.
“The truth is worse than any of us could have imagined,” Bellone said in the statement, posted yesterday.
So what’s the plan here? Are we Greece? Are property taxes going to be raised beyond what is already difficult for most people to pay? Are there going to be cuts to government jobs? Layoffs? Can anybody give us any sense of what we’re going to do about this? Probably not, after all, they need the votes right, and nobody wants to admit what is very likely coming down the pipe.
This is not something that politicians can just ignore or sweep under the rug like the Federal Government is doing. At the County level, if there is no money, and the borrowing ability runs out, then that means there is no money.
This is a scary situation to be in. Especially in Suffok, where a lot of locals live on government jobs. Fortunately, Suffolk isn’t alone in this boat and we do have a saving grace from some hugely wealthy individuals that keep the tax rolls sustainable. But much of this spending is still in tune with the unlimited credit mindset that caused the real estate market to crash nation wide.
Whether you are Republican or a Democrat, there is no way of escaping this deficit. It’s going to have to be addressed sooner or later. It’s a real shame it has gotten this deep, because the fact is that we have more than enough money coming in from taxes to run a County effectively.