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Citizens Advisory Committee Paints Grim Outlook for Proposed

2018 Westchester County Operating Budget

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) The Westchester County Citizens Budget Advisory Committee’s (CBAC) findings were bleak. Today, in a report to the Board of Legislators Committee on Budget & Appropriations, CBAC outlined their take on the 2018 Proposed Budget.

“The first concern summary of the key findings we have is that the budget is not balanced and the proposed 2018 operating expenses are not fully funded,” said John McGarr, Co-Chair, Westchester County Citizens Budget Advisory Committee.

McGarr later went on to explain CBAC’s findings on the Astorino Administration’s proposed airport deal, which the Board of Legislators have yet to see, saying “reliance on the airport transaction, especially when it lacks approval by the BOL and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is not a sound budget practice.”

Julie Stern, Co-Chair of CBAC, next broke down the proposed 2018 budget’s sales tax problem by saying: “In 2017, I have to remind everyone, that we made the same comment – so hopefully it won’t be boring. In 2018, the revenues forecasted from sales tax appear overstated and we believe the growth factor should be stepped down.”

Lawrence Fasnacht, a CBAC member, next expressed CBAC’s concerns with the lack of funding for coming union contract settlements saying, “of concern is a lack of funding for contracts for unions, particularly CSEA. There is no money for current 2018 year and nothing for retroactive payments, which could be tens of millions of dollars. We have identified this for three years…and when this settlement may come it can again have a negative impact on the fund balance.”

The report later goes on to evaluate the Astorino Administration’s proposed cuts to engineers from the Department of Public Works (DPW). Fasnacht again outlined this by saying “capital projects aren’t being done now, this only exacerbates the problem. The county’s infrastructure has just atrophied over the past eight years – it’s a shame. If anything, we need those 12 engineers and architects back, maybe even more.”

These worrisome findings included a warning about the overall current state of the County’s economic viability saying “the County needs to grow the local economy and grow the tax base. The lack of adequate housing options, high transportation expenses, and limited parking options are all concerns that keep new companies from Westchester. Delaying work on these items can lead to loss of economic development opportunities.”

Click here for CBAC Report on the Westchester County 2018 Operating and Capital Budget



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