WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Westchester County has approved a 2015 budget plan, with a modest spending increase and no hike in the tax levy.
The $1.75 billion spending plan also contains no layoffs, and maintains and improves essential service delivery, according to the office of county Executive Rob Astorino.
“This is a smart and responsible budget that protects the interests of all county residents,” Astorino said in a news release. “It strikes the right balance between taxes and services.”
The budget increases spending by 0.5 percent, or $10 million – less than the rate of inflation, the release said. There will be no reductions in services, and the county’s safety net was maintained with spending for the Department of Social Services at $545 million, the release said.
The tax levy will remain at $548 million for the fifth year in a row, and sales tax was projected to rise by 4 percent to $414 million, the release said.
The budget passed by a vote of 10 to 7, winning the vote of all seven Republican and three Democrats on the Westchester County Board of Legislators, the release said.
The board did reach a compromise in borrowing to pay tax certioraris – the claims made against the county by property owners challenging their tax assessments. The county will only borrow $5 million rather than the $8 million it borrowed last year, as an alternative to service cuts or layoffs that otherwise would have been used to offset costs.
Separate to the county operating budget, the capital budget allocates $276 million to improve the county airports, water and sewers, highways and bridges, the release said.
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