“Why would you refinance it for another 10 years?” McLaughlin said before the meeting. “They actually said, ‘We’re almost there, another year and it’s paid off,’ so why would you go through more borrowing? The borrowing is starting to add up.”
West End Neighbors Civic Association President John Bendo asked whether residents would continue to see a deficit surcharge on their tax bills.
City Manager Jack Schnirman said that the bill allows the city the ability to bond separately for costs associated with the storm and the deficit. The city has completed the first year of its three-year deficit-financing plan, he said, and is heading into its second year. He explained that if Cuomo approves the bill, the state comptroller would conduct a “mini audit” and certify the city’s deficit to determine how much it will issue the bonds for, a process that could take six months. The council can choose to either finance the deficit over 10 years, Schnirman said, or continue the three-year plan.
“I think it would be unlikely that there would be a change for the July 1 [tax] bill that is already out the door,” Schnirman said, “but going forward, this will provide some tax relief here in Long Beach, and it will be a policy question for the council.”