Sales tax hike will grow Westchester’s unrestricted fund balance

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WHITE PLAINS – Westchester County can expect a $47 million increase in revenue this year now that the state has approved a one percent increase in its sales tax, from 7.375 percent to 8.375 percent, Moody’s Investors Service says.

In 2020, the county projects a net increase in revenue of approximately $103 million. “With the new money, county management expects to increase its unrestricted fund balance to over $80 million by the end of 2020, a significant improvement over the $65 million at the end of 2018,” Moody’s said in a recent report.

It said the increased sales tax will also benefit the 38 municipalities that do not levy their own sales tax and provide a “slight lift” for the county’s 37 school districts.

The county will share 20 percent of the revenues with the 38 municipalities, which the county projects will total $13.6 million in 2019 and $29.5 million in 2020. The county will also share 10 percent of the revenue with school districts, totaling a projected $6.8 million in 2019 and $14.8 million in 2020.