Rockland County Executive Scott Vanderhoef knocked Sen. David Carlucci, D-Clarkstown, Rockland County, for the county’s downgrade by Moody’s.
Vanderhoef, who lost to Carlucci in the 2010 Senate race, said Carlucci is at fault for not getting the state Senate to agree to raise the county’s sales tax. Republicans control the Senate and have vowed not to approve any local tax increases. Carlucci is part of the Independent Democratic Conference, which has worked with Republicans.
“We regret that State Senator Carlucci was unwilling to fight for the financial stability of Rockland County by passing the home rule legislation necessary for Rockland to raise its sales tax,” Vanderhoef said in a statement.
“Moody’s downgrade is a direct result of his unwillingness to work with us to close the budget gap. We are continuing negotiations with the County’s largest union, the CSEA, and are hopeful we will reach an agreement soon.”
Vanderhoef added that, “We’re obviously disappointed that Moody’s downgraded the County’s bond rating today. Moody’s reacted prematurely to news that State Senator Carlucci would not be introducing home rule legislation to allow us to raise the sales tax. We have been working diligently with leadership in the County Legislature to come up with a bi-partisan contingency plan.”
Vanderhoef also held out hope that the state will come up with some more mandate relief — which doesn’t appear to be on the horizon.
“It’s also important to note that the State Legislature is still in session. While an increase in the sales tax may no longer be on the table, we remain hopeful that state lawmakers will come up with a plan to help municipalities across New York that are struggling,” he said.
There was no immediate comment from Carlucci’s office.