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Westchester County Executive George Latimer has signed the 2022 Westchester County Budget officially cutting the County Property tax levy by $7 million dollars. This is the third County property tax cut in a row for Latimer, and the largest cut in over a decade. 

Latimer said: “This is an important budget, its represents the third consecutive year we have cut County property taxes. This budget cuts the levy of $7M, totaling $9M over the last three years.

I thank the Westchester County Board of Legislators for their hard work on this budget. I am proud of this budget and proud that through smart and innovative budgeting, we have been able to cut taxes responsibly again, find new revenue sources, save and provide needed services to County residents.  We are committed to doing right by the people of Westchester County – and that is exactly what we have done.” 

Latimer’s 2022 County Budget totals $2.2 billion while restoring fiscal stability.  The County is closing 2021 with a $64 million operating surplus.

Watch the virtual press briefing

2022 Non-traditional revenues and savings measures

Child Care

The 2022 budget contains a total of $38.9 million for childcare subsidies.  An increase of $10.2 million from 2021 levels ($28.7 million).

Child Care Council of Westchester, Inc. Executive Director Kathy Halas said: “We applaud both the County Executive and his team and the Westchester County Board of Legislators for this historic investment in child care.  It represents a belief that access to affordable, safe, quality child care benefits children, parents, employers, in fact all of us.  Westchester County is leading the way on this critical economic issue.”

Jobs and Business

Under the 2022 Budget, over 2,000 permanent jobs will continue to be supported by the County. Latimer said none of these strides would be possible without our partners in the construction industry.

Business Council of Westchester President & CEO Dr. Marsha Gordon said: “The Business Council of Westchester appreciates Westchester County Executive George Latimer’s commitment to fiscal restraint as the nation and our County continue to recover from the pandemic downturn. We particularly applaud the County Executive for cutting the County property tax levy by $7 million. This is the third year in a row that Latimer has cut the tax levy, an essential measure in helping our residents and business owners survive the past two years of crisis. His proposed 2022 budget embraces many recommendations suggested in our Economic Recovery Task Force reports we provided him earlier this year.”

Westchester County Association President & CEO Michael Romita said: “This is a strong and responsible budget.  It lowers our tax burden, creates opportunity for businesses and residents, and reflects the WCA’s priorities in areas such as healthcare, workforce development, digital connectivity, and affordable housing. We appreciate the County’s thoughtful approach and look forward to continuing our work together.”

The 2022 budget includes significant support for the County’s nonprofit partners.

Nonprofit Westchester Executive Director Jan Fisher said: “NPW, Westchester’s only membership organization solely dedicated to representing the needs and interests of Westchester’s nonprofit organizations, the people they serve and the nonprofit workforce, applauds the 2022 Westchester County budget.  This economically prudent budget represents unprecedented investments in the work of Westchester’s nonprofit sector, an acknowledgement of the essential role our agencies serve in advancing the emotional and economic well-being of all residents and takes an important step in moving racial equity in our county forward.   We thank Westchester County Executive George Latimer and his team and the Westchester Board of Legislators.”   

Mental Health

Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health Commissioner Michael Orth said: “Through the foresight of County Executive Latimer, and the collaboration of our department and colleague departments, as well as our various partners in the community, Project Alliance will create a first-of-its-kind seamless system of crisis response. Through Project Alliance, our community members, law enforcement personnel and service providers will become safer and better connected.”

Public Safety

The Department of Public Safety total budget is $52.8 million - the largest in County history. The budget will add Spanish-speaking patrol officers, a result of the County administering a police officer exam for Spanish speaking officers in March 2021.

Westchester County Public Safety Commissioner Tom Gleason said: “This budget allows the Westchester County Police to maintain our full staffing levels and fill vacancies that occurred during the year due to retirements. I am grateful to the County Executive and Board of Legislators for fully funding our Department and enabling us to provide the police services that keep people safe.”

Westchester County Police Reform and Reimagining Task Force Co-Chair Mayo Bartlett said: “Westchester County Executive George Latimer and the Westchester County Board of Legislators have taken a pivotal step toward making law enforcement more accessible to the residents of Westchester, and to those who visit Westchester.  The inclusion of Spanish speaking patrol officers greatly increases the potential to accurately address criminal incidents through clearer interaction with suspects as well as complainants. This measure may reduce misunderstandings between law enforcement and members of the Spanish speaking community by removing potential language barriers.”

Westchester County Police Reform and Reimagining Task Force Co-Chair Leroy Frazer said: In providing funding for Spanish speaking police officers in the budget, the County Executive is demonstrating, once again, that he is listening to the community’s voice as provided by the Police Reform and Reimagining Task Force.  Action speaks louder than words and this funding speaks volumes for the Spanish-speaking people of Westchester.”

Environment

The budget funds the County’s ever-popular Household Recycling Day. Four HRD days are planned for 2022.  Pre-COVID, DEF hosted two HRD events and residents delivered nearly 275,000 pounds of household waste, and approximately 37,000 pounds of documents for shredding.

Additionally, major improvements are planned for the Mamaroneck and Yonkers wastewater recovery facilities in 2022.  $37.5 million is included for Mamaroneck for a variety of improvements including nitrogen and phosphorus removal to protect the Long Island Sound, emergency power systems and odor control. At Yonkers, $22.6 million is included primarily for additional odor control measures and the completion of the methane recapture project that will allow the facility to generate approximately 70 percent of its energy needs. 

Westchester County Department of Environmental Facilities Commissioner Vincent F. Kopicki, P.E. said: “The Department of Environmental Facilities, with the support and guidance of County Executive Latimer and his Administration, will continue to upgrade and modernize our systems and facilities in order to manage the water, wastewater and solid waste for the residents of Westchester County.  We have always been proud to not only meet, but to surpass our regulatory requirements and the funds in the 2022 budget will allow us to meet those goals.”

Westchester County Director of Energy Conservation and Sustainability Peter McCartt said: “The County Executive continues to lead on conserving the environment and supporting all measures to combat climate change; electrify our fleets, move our energy needs to renewable resources, and invest in energy efficient capital programs. He has the foresight to build for the future to preserve our parks and natural resources; I have heard him say ‘A society grows great when elders plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit’.”

Environmental Conservation / Transportation

Long committed to environmental conservation efforts, the County Executive has earmarked:

Health

Commissioner of Health Dr. Sherlita Amler said: “I want to thank County Executive George Latimer for continuing to put the health and safety of Westchester County’s residents at the forefront. Improving public health takes creativity, commitment and collaboration, and our County Executive has proven his dedication to ensuring all of our residents have fair and equitable access to healthcare. With this additional funding in the budget, we can continue to fulfill the Health Department’s mission of promoting and protecting public health in Westchester.”  

Housing

As in prior years, affordable housing is once again a top priority with a combined $50 million included in the Capital Budget for land acquisition and infrastructure improvements to support the development of affordable housing within the County – this represents the largest single year commitment to affordable housing in County history.  

Small Landlord Rehabilitation Assistance Program: Total $10 million to provide money which landlords can use to repair, rehabilitate or improve apartment units, but in exchange, the units must remain affordable for a fixed period of time.

Mount Vernon United Tenants Executive Director Dennis Hanratty said: “Affordable housing continues to remain the County’s most intractable problem.  Fortunately, the County Executive both recognizes this and is willing to act to address this.  This is evidenced by his inclusion of $60 million in his Capital Budget, and $10 million in the Small Landlord Rehabilitation Assistance Program.  This commitment of public funds is exactly what our communities need.  Thank you County Executive Latimer!”

Building and Realty Institute CEO Timothy Foley said: "Far more than any County Executive in recent memory, County Executive Latimer has understood that the growth of the economy depends on our employees and our neighbors being able to afford to live here. That means prioritizing both assistance for landlords and tenants to preserve access to safe, reliable housing that exists today, and funding the investments and infrastructure necessary to meet the tremendous need for new housing. According to the Westchester County Housing Needs Assessment, we need 11,703 new units of housing countywide, particularly housing that will be affordable to middle-class families and the teachers, police officers, community health workers, and employees at non-profits that we all rely on. This budget represents an historic-level down payment on meeting that need."

Education

Department of Emergency Services Commissioner Richard Wishnie said: “County Executive Latimer is providing a tremendous opportunity to address a growing crisis among the emergency responder community– a lack of volunteers.  These funds will offer incentives for individuals to volunteer in the EMS/fire community by volunteering for a set period of time, while getting tuition assistance to attend college.” 

Youth

Executive Director of the Westchester County Youth Bureau DaMia Harris-Madden said: "We are grateful to have a County Executive that understands the critical importance of offering safety nets that interlock the physical, intellectual, emotional and social assets of Westchester’s children and youth. Given the dearth of opportunities during the weekends and summer hours, the Youth Upliftment Initiative was carefully curated to offer alternatives to unsupervised and idle time.  The cross-system collaboration between the Youth Bureau, Parks, and the Department of Social Services will yield a relevant, inclusive, responsive and sustainable framework that will guide programming for children ages 9-12. We look forward to seeding an initiative that will empower and challenge children and youth to develop agency and realize the future they deserve. Our hope is to change the trajectory for children who have promise, but need real connection to all the opportunities that exist within our County and beyond."

Additionally, there will be a one-time $600,000 allocation that will allow Youth Bureaus throughout Westchester County to purchase new equipment and tools which will allow them to serve Westchester’s youth. This allocation is particularly important because multiple Youth Bureaus in Westchester are brand new (Ossining, Yonkers and Port Chester) and are overall receiving renewed attention and programming.

Harris-Madden said:  “This budget furthers the Westchester County Youth Bureau’s efforts of building capacity within the organizations that serve the most vulnerable. Youth Bureaus are hubs for children, youth, and families within their communities, and work alongside non-profit organizations to minimize risks of educational failure, unemployment, incarceration, mental and physical health challenges, and maladies. We applaud all who have made this tangible commitment to strengthening local Youth Bureaus’ internal structures, while investing in one time funding for innovation and technology, professional development, and evaluation.”

Seniors

Commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services Mae Carpenter said: “Westchester County’s TIPS program – or Telehealth Intervention Program for Seniors – is a vital program that encourages our seniors to stay on top of their health vitals. We have an aging population here in Westchester, and because of the pandemic, we are experiencing a shortage of home healthcare workers. Our TIPS program is an early warning program that allows us to save lives, and helps our seniors get out in front of what is going on with their health. We are grateful that we can continue this crucial program here in Westchester.”     

Recreation

Westchester County Parks Commissioner Kathleen O’Connor said: “Coming out of the pandemic, the Westchester County Parks Department has truly become naturally essential. We look forward to working with the Latimer administration and this healthy 2022 budget to once again open up programming and reimagine the large scale events that we provide for residents and guests of Westchester County, while we continue to introduce the population to our 50 facilities and 18,000 acres of lush park land.” 

Additionally, Westchester County Parks saw unprecedented demand during the pandemic and the County Executive has continued his commitment to improve and enhance this vital County resource.  The County Executive’s budget also includes $4 million to begin the process of re-imagining the Westchester County Center.  The County Center has not had a major improvement since the 1980’s, and an examination of the entertainment space is needed especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.   

Within the Westchester County Parks System, a combined $45 million has been allocated for structural improvements to the Ice Casino at Playland and Playland Amusement Park. 

Westchester County Board of Legislators Chair Ben Boykin said: “In the past four years, we have brought this County a long way. We've restored Westchester's financial health.  We've cut the County's property tax levy three years in a row, while rebuilding the County's savings. We've made historic investments in roads, bridges, parks, and technology. But most importantly, we have invested in Westchester's greatest resource -- its people. The 2022 budgets put people first and invest in their future, with historic commitments to childcare, affordable housing, and human services; with creative use of ARPA funds to support small landlords and improve Westchester's housing stock.  I want to thank the County Executive and his team, as well as my colleagues and the staff of the Board of Legislators for setting a bold example for what we can do with the right values and the right leadership.”

Westchester County Board of Legislators Vice-Chair Alfreda Williams said: “Westchester County has long set an example for other counties around the State when it comes to the services we offer residents. This budget follows through on that example. The funding providing for necessary health, housing and childcare programs shows our belief in the importance of budgeting with those who need most, first in mind. With this being my final budget as a County Legislator, I am proud of the progress we’ve made on the issues I have fought so hard for. This budget will advance the interests of those who elected me to serve and I thank my colleagues and the County Executive for their efforts.”

Westchester County Legislator and Chair of the County Budget and Appropriations Committee Catherine Borgia said: “Thank you to CE Latimer for our collaboration to create a transformative budget that builds capacity, increases our partnerships with community organizations, makes a significant investment in child care and improving housing stock. This is a budget that will help all Westchester to create a prosperous future”

Westchester County Legislator and County Board Majority Leader MaryJane Shimsky said: “The budgets we passed this week for fiscal year 2022 will build the foundation for a better Westchester for years to come. This work has restored our rainy day fund, invested in our youth and in our public health capabilities, and made commitments to improve our parks, roads, bridges, bus fleet and wastewater treatment infrastructure. The fiscal strength that allowed us to do these and other good things was made possible by increased federal aid — but the decisions on how to invest the resources allotted us were the product of four years of diligent, collaborative work, openness to new ideas and to compromise shown by this Board of Legislators and this County Executive. The result is an outstanding example of what we can do when we work well together.”

Westchester County Legislator and County Board Minority Leader Margaret Cunzio said: “I am happy to support a budget that does not increase property taxes, increases funding to our non-profit partners, does not use any reserve funds and does not borrow from the pension fund.  The 2022 county budget accomplishes all of these objectives.  This budget helps all the residents of Westchester- including homeowners and property owners who have also felt the ramifications of the pandemic.  I want to personally thank the county executive, my colleagues, and all those who worked on the budget.  This is yet another example of working together to make government work.”