County Executive Latimer announces increase in sales tax to go into effect Aug. 1

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Editor’s note: This announcement was provided by Westchester County Executive George Latimer.

Dear Neighbors,

Yesterday, with the bipartisan support of state lawmakers, local elected officials, school district leaders and advocates from across the County, I announced that the Westchester County Property Taxpayer Protection Act will go into effect on August 1 of this year. The measure, at its core, is about bringing relief to Westchester County’s property taxpayers.

As a taxpayer, you may be asking yourself ‘what does this mean for me?’ The Property Taxpayer Protection Act offers an alternative revenue source for Westchester County – outside of raising your County property taxes. By achieving sales tax parity with our neighboring counties of Rockland and Putnam, and cities like Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, White Plains and Yonkers, for the equivalent of one penny on the dollar, we are creating a steady stream of revenue that will be spread out among anyone who shops in Westchester County, not just property taxpayers. With this Act in place, if you buy something in New Castle, the sales tax will be the same in New Rochelle: if you make a purchase in Waccabuc, the levy will be the same in White Plains. And, of the nearly 70 million dollars that will be collected annually as a result, 20 percent will be distributed to our local municipalities, and 10 percent to Westchester’s school districts. The Property Taxpayer Protection Act is a victory for all, and it is a tremendous step towards ensuring a strong financial future for our County.

The Act will allow us to hold the line on County Property Taxes for fiscal years 2020 and 2021, restore $15 million dollars to the County’s reserve fund, and will have a positive credit impact on the County’s bond rating, which was downgraded after 2017 by S & P. All of these actions are outlined for you in the documents attached here.

It is a new day in Westchester County. This symbolizes the end of one-shot deals, and the end of borrowing to cover operating costs. We now have a constant, creative source of revenue. I am thankful and proud of the collaborative effort it took to accomplish this, and I look forward to moving Westchester County in the right direction – together.

George Latimer

Westchester County Executive