Jonathan GordonMay 15, 2018, 5:22 pmMay 16, 2018, 2:51 pm

Report shows $29M deficit in Westchester County

Officials consider raising taxes, consolidating properties

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WHITE PLAINS – A first quarter review of Westchester’s finances report showed a projected deficit of nearly $29 million in 2018. The deficit number could also go up depending on the outcome of contract negotiations with Westchester’s largest labor union, the Civil Service Employee’s Association. Officials said they're looking at all options to reduce the gap so they don't have to dip into the $107 million unrestricted fund balance. Options include raising taxes, consolidating properties, and setting rules for using the general fund

Legislature's Budget and Appropriations Committee Chair Catherine Borgia said she’s hopeful the government can fix the budget.

"It’s a tough situation, there's no question about it, but it's not all doom and gloom. I think there's a lot of people putting a lot of effort into working hard to turn this ship around," Borgia said. "Part of it is because the last administration settled contracts that they did not fund, so we have to fund it this year, and part of it was that there was eight years of structurally unbalanced funds. If we hit this level, certain behaviors get triggered. For example, there's expense cutting or there's revenue generation."

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said the current administration inherited most of the deficit from past regimes.

"When we inherit, walk in the door on the first day in January and there's a $20 mall gap in the budget that's significant. And that's not something that can just be said 'well what are you going to do to fix it up?,” Latimer said.

The legislature is expected to receive a budget by Nov. 15 and have it approved by the end of December.

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