George Latimer

Marta Zielinska/WCBS 880

Westchester County Executive Proposes 2 Percent Tax Increase

November 09, 2018 - 2:34 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — There's a proposed 2 percent tax increase for Westchester County.

The day after he was elected county executive, George Latimer requested an audit. He suspected he was inheriting a mess.

"The actions that occurred in past years triggered a deficit for 2018 of $39 million, so the aggregate total is $71 million and that is a hefty amount of money," Latimer said.

He says his predecessor was burning furniture for firewood in order to keep his pledge to never raise taxes. Latimer promises his approach will be low and slow.

"Now with the federal government getting rid of the deduction on the state and local taxes most people will see income taxes rise dramatically because of that, so we're going to do everything we can to run the government that is necessary, but at the same time do it responsibly," Latimer said.

Latimer says they will sell off some unused property, finally collect tax from Airbnb and power down county buildings during peak demand periods.

As for the tax increase, Latimer said that if you’re a resident of Westchester and pay $21,000 in property taxes, a 2 percent increase on the county portion would be about $80.

They are looking for creative ways to save and generate money. Latimer also said he is looking towards Albany for new sources of revenue, including internet sales tax, red light cameras, sports betting and a tax of ride sharing.

Chairman of the legislature Ben Boyken also spoke in support of the increase.

“He’s absolutely on the right track, and I think it's going to be slow and easy. We did not get in this situation overnight, and we will not get out of this situation overnight,” Boyken said.