Clock ticking on state bailout of Westchester Medical Center

The clock is ticking on lawmakers efforts to help the financially strapped Westchester Medical Center. State lawmakers are trying to come up with a bailout bill that could passed before the current session ends this week.

One proposal to use sales tax revenue for medical center aid would only involve Westchester County. The hospital in Valhalla serves the entire lower Hudson Valley, but legislators from Putnam, Rockland, Orange and other counties objected to the tax hike proposal. Local taxpayers say it is unfair that only Westchester bear the burden of a tax increase, since patients at the medical center are not limited to Westchester County.

However, if the medical center were to close, it would cost taxpayers even more since the county has loaned the hospital millions of dollars. A default on those loans would have to be made up by Westchester taxpayers.

Related story Senator Spano introduces legislation to save Westchester Medical Center

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