White Plains, NY — Legislators are pledging to work with the County Executive to right Westchester’s fiscal ship after auditors from PFK O'Connor Davies on Monday briefed the Board of Legislators' Budget and Appropriations Committee on Westchester County's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for 2017.

The report, which was released by County Executive George Latimer on June 26, shows that the County ended 2017 with a $32.2 million deficit, and faces a projected deficit for 2018 of $28.7 million even before any money is budgeted for a settlement with the county's largest union, CSEA, who have been working without a contract for seven years.

Board Chair Ben Boykin (D – Harrison, Scarsdale, White Plains) said, “For years, I’ve warned about structural fiscal imbalances in County budgets.  I and most of my Democratic colleagues voted against budgets under the prior County Executive that balanced the books with one-shot revenues, borrowings to pay for short-term operating expenses, and the depletion of departments necessary for the efficient operation of county government, all under the guise of ‘no tax increases.’  These unsustainable budgets left us with these large deficits and substantial reductions in the county’s rainy-day funds. This cannot continue.”

He added, “We have new leadership and a new majority at the Board, as well as a new County Executive. It is our joint responsibility to seek opportunities to increase revenue, control expenses and rebuild our fund balance, so we can leave this county better off tomorrow than it is today.”

Legislator Catherine Borgia (D - Briarcliff Manor, Cortlandt, Croton-on-Hudson, Ossining, Peekskill), chair of the Board Budget and Appropriations Committee, said, “This is not a problem that was created overnight and it’s not one that’s going to be solved overnight.  The good news is that we have resources in Westchester County and there are ways for us to move the county back to sound financial standing.  As we go forward with the budget process, we’ll be working closely with the County Executive to put the county on firmer financial footing in a way that’s consistent with our values and our needs.”

Majority Leader Catherine Parker (D-Harrison, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Rye) said, “As many of us in the legislature warned, the prior County Executive’s politically-motivated ‘no tax increases’ ploy did nothing more than push off to the future costs that we are now faced with paying today.  Our job is to fix this mess and responsibly restore Westchester’s financial position while continuing to ensure that County’s roads, parks and essential services support the quality of life in Westchester.”