STANDING ALONGSIDE A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER, COUNTY EXECUTIVE GEORGE LATIMER SIGNS 2020 OPERATING BUDGET THAT CUTS TAXES FOR WESTCHESTER COUNTY PROPERTY OWNERS
Full Press Conference can be seen HERE.
(White Plains, NY) – Standing with small business owner Ronnie Ram at his business Inspiria Outdoor Advertising, his employees and not-for-profit and business leaders throughout Westchester, County Executive George Latimer said: “This is good, positive progressive policy coupled with good fiscal policy done in a bi-partisan fashion.”
The $2.1 billion dollar budget includes a $1 million dollar cut to the Westchester County Property Tax Levy.
Latimer said: “While we committed to at least a freeze of County property taxes, we went even further and cut the County’s property tax levy by $1 million. This budget is about the people who live in Westchester County, it is about giving them some property tax relief while at the same time working to make their County the best it can be – by providing services and programs taxpayers rely on while placing the County back onto solid financial ground.”
This is the first time, in almost a decade that a County Executive has proposed a budget that reduces the County property tax levy. The cut to the tax levy is due in large part to the Westchester County Property Taxpayer Protection Act which shares back 20% to municipalities and 10% to school districts. The 30% amounts to over $40 million helping to provide additional property tax relief.
For the 2020 Budget, the County will also have no “one-shot” deals, a step in the right direction to restore the County’s once sterling Triple A Bond rating. On this, Standard & Poor’s has already revised the County’s credit outlook from “negative” to “stable” – citing recent budgetary actions.
Further, the Budget memorializes Latimer’s commitment to rebuild the County’s reserves – reserves that were nearly depleted by the last administration. Latimer has directed that $10 million dollars be added to the County’s “rainy day fund” – bringing it up to $79 Million – a 23% increase from just one year ago.
The 2020 budget also features zero borrowing for operating expenses. All ongoing expenses, including pension obligations and tax certioraris, will be paid through the operating budget – not borrowed. In the long term this move saves taxpayer dollars.
The 2020 budget also allocates $1 million dollars in Economic Development. The money will be used for:
- A comprehensive long-term economic development strategy and implementation plan.
o The last plan was developed in 2000.
o This will provide a roadmap for economic development for the next 1-5 years and beyond.
- Workforce development initiatives to promote economic development in Westchester County by bringing more wage earners into the workforce.
- Building a pipeline of talent that will enable Westchester County businesses to grow, through a mentorship program.
- Initiatives to develop a more vibrant ecosystem for entrepreneurship in Westchester County, including the expansion of our Element 46 Incubator Program.
For additional highlights of the 2020 Operating Budget, check out the Westchester County Website!