Astorino's WC budget includes revenue from privatized airport

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WHITE PLAINS -

Outgoing Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino is balancing his proposed budget with millions from privatizing the county airport in a plan that is at odds with the man who's set to replace him.

"For the eighth straight year, taxpayers get a break," Astorino said, while unveiling his $1.8 billion proposed budget for 2018. He's keeping the tax levy flat and only raising spending by a small amount.

But Astorino's proposal counts on $30 million in added revenue from privatizing Westchester County Airport to work out.

"There's a lot of money at stake for the county taxpayers, and what they do with that is up to them," Astorino said. "But we're putting it on a plate with a bow on it for them."

"It seems like it's a little bit presumptuous to put that money in, especially when we don't even know if we're going forward with this particular deal," retorted Catherine Borgia, the Democratic majority leader of the Westchester Board of Legislators.

County Executive-elect George Latimer also expressed his concerns over balancing a budget with nonexistent money.

"I've said before that I don't want to make a decision on public policy that's this profound as a budgetary or fiscal issue," Latimer said.

He added that the voters wanted change, and he said he hopes to bring that to office.

The budget will head to the Board of Legislators for negotiations. The board has until the end of the year to pass a final version. A number of sessions will be held to gather input from the public.

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