Democratic Caucus of the Monroe County Legislature

Legislator Haney Questions County’s Financial Health

Tom MorriseyComment

Rochester, New York — June 9, 2015.  Legislator Paul Haney (D – Rochester) issued a statement today regarding the news that Moody’s Investors Service has changed Monroe County’s bond rating outlook from ‘negative’ to ‘stable.’ The current rating of Baa1 was not changed and remains the second worst bond rating of all NY’s large counties. The rating shows the County is still stressed financially. Despite citing ‘minimal reserves and negative liquidity,’ Moody’s improved the outlook due to a reported (the 2014 financial statements have not been given to the Legislature) additional $9 million of reserves on hand to close 2014.

“What Moody’s fails to recognize, is that this ‘additional’ $9 million is due to the fact the County continues to defer its pension costs. This deferral has totaled over $50 million over the last few years,” said Legislator Haney. “Anyone can balance their books if they don’t report unpaid bills.”

These types of financial gimmicks are a large part of the reason why Monroe County continues to be among the most fiscally stressed counties in the state, according to the State Comptroller.