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Latimer: County to Cut Property Tax Levy By $6M in 2023

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Westchester County Executive George Latimer will propose a 2023 operating budget later this week that contains an “unprecedented” fourth consecutive property tax levy reduction by $6M.

Previewing the scheduled Thursday release of next year’s spending plan on Nov. 3, Latimer said there will be a proposed $6 million reduction in the levy, bringing down that figure to $542 million, a reduction of about $17 million over the last four years.

“But the bottom line is still, we’ve looked at the operating needs of the county government, we’ve looked at the revenue streams that we have, not only property tax but sales tax and a host of other revenue streams, and we’re confident that the overall budget that we present will be balanced, will be substantive and we’ll be able to cut the property tax levy by an additional $6 million,” Latimer said.

He pledged that there would be no borrowing for tax certiorari settlements or to meet the county’s pension obligations for next year. There will also be no use of fund balance savings to help balance the budget. A major factor working in the county’s favor is a projected $65.9 million budget surplus from the current year.

Latimer said his proposal for 2023 continues to provide the services that the county is required to have and Westchester residents have come to expect while understanding that inflation and other economic factors since the pandemic have made personal finances difficult for many people, Latimer noted.

“We recognize that people are having a tough time of it coming out of the situation,” he said. “Westchester has bounced back better than many other jurisdictions but we still have difficult times and we reflect knowledge of that by balancing a budget that’s responsible and cuts property taxes.”

Latimer release of his proposed plan is expected to go into detail about some of the services and programs that will be emphasized in 2023. Last month, he unveiled a $662 million capital projects plan for next year that stressed upgrades of the county’s wastewater treatment plants, flood mitigation and environmental initiatives and an increase for land acquisition and incentives to encourage the development of additional affordable and workforce housing.

The Board of Legislators will then hold its budget deliberations and will eventually complete its review and make any revisions by next month. There will also be multiple public hearings around the county over the next month that are expected to be announced.

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