WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Residents in 22 municipalities will continue to be eligible for property tax rebates from New York state, according to Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.
A total of $211 million in savings -- $186 million from county government and $25 million from local municipalities and special districts -- has been identified for implementation through 2019. Because the savings exceed benchmarks set by the state, residents in the participating municipalities will qualify for property tax rebates through 2016.
“These savings are the product of smart government,” Astorino said. “Working as a team with 22 municipalities, we were able to come up with new approaches that allowed us to cut costs and still maintain, and even improve, services. The fundamental principle behind this effort is that sharing and consolidation can greatly improve efficiency.”
The county has been engaged in efficiency efforts with municipalities since 2010. One example is a mutual aid agreement with fire districts that saves more than $2 million annually. The fire districts were able to save money by moving to a centralized, shared model for dispatching and special equipment purchases, instead of doing those things independently.
On Monday, Mount Kisco entered into an agreement with the Westchester Department of Public Safety for supplemental police services that will save the village $2.4 million at no cost to county taxpayers.
The municipalities participating in the county-led plan are:
- The cities of Peekskill and Rye.
- The towns of Bedford, Cortlandt, Eastchester, Harrison, Lewisboro, Mamaroneck, Mount Pleasant, North Castle, North Salem, Pound Ridge, Somers and Yorktown.
- The villages of Bronxville, Mamaroneck, Mount Kisco, Pelham, Port Chester, Rye Brook, Scarsdale and Tuckahoe.
On Monday, the county submitted a “joint government efficiency plan” to the state. All municipalities in Westchester were invited to participate in the plan. Some decided to submit their own plans to the state.
The projected savings are:
- $43 million in 2016.
- $55 million in 2017.
- $56 million in 2018.
- $57 million in 2019.
With the county and municipalities doing their part, Astorino repeated his call for Albany to provide meaningful tax relief to localities by reforming unfunded state mandates.