Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino vetoed a Board of Legislators budget that included a 2 percent tax hike on Monday.
“Raising property taxes on the already overburdened taxpayer is the last thing we should be doing right now,” Astorino said. “For the past seven years, working in a bi-partisan manner, we have been able to adopt budgets that have fully provided for services and programs and did not rely on the county’s reserve funds. The board’s budget will hurt taxpayers.”
Astorino cited other flaws in the board’s adopted budget, notably their unnecessary draining of $20 million in reserve funds, which could adversely affect the county’s AAA bond rating, and its omission of a legitimate, long-term and sustainable revenue stream from a proposed public-private partnership to operate the Westchester County Airport, which would have provided the county with $30 million in non-tax revenues for the 2018 budget as well as approximately $5 million in new revenue for the next 39 years.
When these factors are coupled with the likelihood of Congress changing the tax code to eliminate or limit the deductibility of local property taxes, the results could be devasting for many Westchester residents, Astorino said.
“With Washington about to cap state and local property tax deductions, the most irresponsible and hypocritical thing to do is to make matters worse by hiking our already sky-high taxes,” Astorino said.
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