September 24, 2013

Nassau County Warns Former Comptroller Against False Claims that Could Hurt Taxpayers

Mineola, NY - In a letter to former county comptroller Howard Weitzman the County Attorney’s office, represented by a securities attorney, warned him against continuing to make false statements about the County’s finances. The former comptroller on September 16, 2013 made baseless allegations that the County has issued misleading financial statements that have deceived the public and those who purchase Nassau County’s bonds.

“The former Comptroller’s allegations are false, irresponsible and potentially harmful to the County and all taxpayers,” said Comptroller George Maragos. “The County’s audited financial statements comply with all generally accepted accounting principles and accurately reflect the sound financial condition of the county.”

The County’s financial statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States.  The financial statements were prepared without misrepresentation, full disclosure and transparency.  The following sections from the County’s audited financial statements, clearly contradict the allegations by the former comptroller.

The County’s 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (“CAFR”), includes the government-wide financial statements of the County, which were audited by our independent auditors, Deloitte & Touche LLP who issued their unmodified opinion on the County’s government-wide financial statements included in the 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report on July 12, 2013. The $88 million of property tax certiorari refunds is fully accrued in the government-wide Statement of Net Position (Exhibits X-1 Page 27, of the 2012 CAFR), in the Current Liabilities: Current Portion of Long Term Liabilities.

Footnotes 10 and 16 of the CAFR, which are integral parts of the basic financial statements, include the accrual of the $88 million of property tax refunds and disclose the nature of the deferral of those refunds, respectively. Footnote 10 – Notes Payable and Long-Term Obligations (page 78 of the 2012 CAFR), reported the $88 million of property tax refunds in the ending balance as of December 31, 2012, as well as the Due Within One Year. Footnote 16 B – Contingencies and Commitments, Tax Certioraris (page 107 of the 2012 CAFR), discloses the County’s short-term and long-term property tax refund liability as well as the disclosure of the Judge’s order that deferred the petitioners from collecting on property tax judgments until 2013. The last sentence of this footnote states “However, the $88.0 million of tax certiorari liabilities are included in the current portion of long term liabilities on the statement of net position.”

The County 2012 audited financial statements (the 2012 CAFR) are publically available on the Comptroller’s web site.

pdf file Letter to Howard Weitzman- re: Nassau County Report of 2012 Year End Surplus

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