Picente: County Pays Off Amortized Retirement Payment Early

Paying Off Amortization Bill Early Saves Taxpayers Half A Million Dollars

County Executive Anthony J. Picente announced today that Oneida County paid off $5,614,826 in amortized state retirement payments from 2014, 9 years ahead of schedule. The amortization of retirement bills has been an approach used since 2011. By paying the $5,614,826 in one year instead of the ten years allowed by law the County saves taxpayers $953,437 in interest payments.

Picente said “Amortization has been one of the most effective tools to relieve county taxpayers from mandated retirement payments to the State. Our total retirement bill for 2014 was $13,818,157, we paid $8,402,101 and we amortized the rest. The only practical thing to do is spread some of the payment out over time and pay the loan off as quickly as possible, we have done that and saved the taxpayer’s nearly a million dollars.”

This payment covers the entire remaining amount of amortized payments from 2014.

Comptroller Joseph Timpano said “Amortization and quick turnarounds on payments is the exact right move to benefit all the taxpayers. We smooth out an ever increasing annual outgoing expenditure while acting in a financially responsible manner. I commend the County Executive for this fiscally conservative and prudent approach to public finances.”

County Executive Picente went on to say “If we did not amortize portions of our retirement bill we would have had to increase property taxes 7% to 10% each year since 2011, on every taxpayer and business in the County. Anyone who tells you different doesn’t understand public finance or our fiscal realities.  Amortization is not only the right option it’s the only option. I thank my partners in Government, Joe Timpano and the Board of Legislators for agreeing with my approach.” 

Since 2011 Oneida County’s total retirement payment is $58,015,009. Oneida County has paid $49,434,380 in retirement payments since 2011, including 2015’s bill, which were not amortized.

In the past four years, and 2015, Oneida County will have amortized $18,235,034 which has been paid down to $8,580,629. 

After the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 the state retirement bills have increased at an unsustainable rate. The New York State Comptroller offers counties the option to amortize a certain amount of the bill based on percentage of annual growth.