Administrative History

The Yonkers Emergency Financial Control Board was established in 1984 (Chapter 103) to deal with a financial emergency in Yonkers resulting from "inadequate management of the city's financial affairs, increased service demands of the population and shortfalls in receipts and anticipated revenues." In May of 1984 it was determined that Westchester County had provided Yonkers with $9.5 million in revenues that were raised through improper property taxation. Further compounding this deficit was a $12-$14 million spending "overage" occurring at the city's dependent school system. Since the city had exhausted 100% of its real property tax margin and was constitutionally barred from raising taxes further, it did not have the means to refund the $9.5 million, address the school system "overage," and maintain budgetary balance.

The board was given broad authority to oversee city finances, including review of city financial plans and all proposed city contracts, bonds, borrowings or collective bargaining agreements before they could be issued or approved by the city. Board approval was needed by the city before it could enter into such contracts or financial obligations.

The board originally consisted of the lieutenant governor (as chair), the state comptroller, the Yonkers city manager and four appointees of the governor. Later, the secretary of state replaced the lieutenant governor as board member and chair (Chapter 6, Laws of 1985) and the mayor of Yonkers replaced the city manager (Chapter 742, Laws of 1991). The board operated with the administrative support of the Division of the Budget and is considered part of DOB for disposition scheduling purposes.

In July 1998, the financial emergency that prompted creation of the board was declared by the board to have ended. This effectively ended board authority over city finances and triggered its automatic closure six months hence (i.e., in January 1999), as provided in the authorizing statute.