Tuesday
November 14, 2017


 

 

 

Astorino unveils his final county budget with spending up less than one percent


Astorino: "I made a promise ..."

WHITE PLAINS – Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino, who last week was defeated by State Senator George Latimer, introduced his proposed 2018 budget of $1.8 billion on Monday. He said it preserves essential services, maintains the safety net for the county’s neediest residents and, for the eighth straight year does not raise the county tax levy from its $548 million level.

“I made a promise to protect taxpayers, and I have kept it,” the Republican county exec said. “In doing so, much needed money has stayed in the pockets of individuals, families and, in particular, seniors across Westchester.”

The budget maintains essential services. Social services spending is up by $8.5 million to $598 million.

Astorino said his spending plan reflects the county’s strong financial position with no county having a higher credit rating, meaning the county gets the most favorable interest rates on its borrowings.

Board of Legislators Chairman Michael Kaplowitz, a Democrat, said the proposed budget is unbalanced by $30 million relying on the unapproved county airport privatization plan.  He also noted that the budget includes cutting 12 people from the Public Works Department and four from the parks department and reduces the incoming county executive’s staff by 25 percent from the level Astorino has had for the last eight years.

Kaplowitz said the legislature will work to restore the critical personnel that are proposed to be cut in Astorino’s plan and “we need to close the $30 million budget gap which imperils both the county’s reserve fund and our good credit rating.”

 


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