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City of Watertown not on list of local governments under fiscal distress

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WATERTOWN — The city of Watertown did not end up on a state comptroller list of local governments that are under fiscal distress.

Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli graded Watertown at 9.6 percent out of a score of 100 for fiscal stress. He gave no designation for local governments and school districts that scored less than 45 percent.

Mr. DiNapoli issued the final round of fiscal stress scores for upstate cities on Friday. He looked at such categories as fund balance, operating deficit, cash ratio, personal services and employee benefits, and debt service compared with revenue.

The report came during the same week the city manager proposed a $39 million budget that carries a nearly 24 percent tax levy and 22 percent tax rate increase.

The scores released Friday include 15 cities and villages that have fiscal years ranging from March 31 to July 31.

The system uses percentage scores to evaluate fiscal stress: significant fiscal stress (65 to 100 percent), moderate fiscal stress (55 to 65 percent), is susceptible to fiscal stress (45 to 55 percent) or no designation (below 45 percent).

Currently, 142 municipalities in the state have some degree of stress: 16 counties, 18 towns, five cities, 16 villages and 87 school districts.

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