July 9, 2018 -- Head to the Westchester Gov. Official YouTube Page to watch the full News Conference.

Joined by independent auditors O’Connor Davies, County Board Chairman Ben Boykin, County Legislator Catherine Borgia and leaders of the Westchester County Finance Department, Westchester County Executive George Latimer presented the County’s Financial Statements for the 2017 fiscal year. Latimer disclosed that as of January 1, 2018, his administration inherited a deficit of more than $32 million in the County’s General fund.

Latimer said: “Let’s be clear. Nowhere here have we discussed a significant property tax increase. Anyone who asserts that is playing politics with our finances, and we’ve had politics played with our finances for far too long.” 

Latimer said the deficit stemmed from unsustainable promises made by the previous administration, including a freeze on property taxes, failing to fund agreed upon labor contracts, closing budget gaps with one-shot deals and dipping into the reserve fund.   

Latimer also said the County is developing a plan to save money. That plan includes, but is not limited to, finding savings in existing contracts, developing a robust Shared Services plan, consolidating office space and specifically looking to move County employees from rented office space into owned office space, exploring energy reduction initiatives, and aggressively enforcing and collecting fines and fees.  

Latimer said: “We are not happy to be in this situation, but this was not unexpected. We’ve had discussions over the course of years in the legislature and elsewhere about our finances. But we do not step aside from our responsibilities. However this happened, whosever watch it happened under, it is under my watch and our watch that we will fix this. We were posed with a difficult set of circumstances, and we will solve this together.”