Westchester taxpayers worry about possible double-dose of tax hikes

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MOUNT VERNON -

Some residents in Westchester say they are worried they could be hit with a double-dose of tax hikes: one at the county level and another tied to the GOP tax plan being worked out in Congress.

Delores McFall, of Mount Vernon, says she is tired of making ends meet to pay her bills. She says she’ll be more concerned if President Donald Trump's tax reform plan passes, as it could pull additional money from her paycheck.

“It's not working for minorities in New York, and everyone should just move out,” she says.

As a Westchester County resident, McFall is facing another financial strain. County legislators approved a $1.8 billion budget Monday. For the first time in eight years, it includes a 2 percent property tax hike.

Legislator Michael Kaplowitz assures residents the budget will fill a $100 million hole and restore jobs.

“It's balanced. It takes out the airport revenue, which was a deal that wasn't being approved. It puts in reasonable assumptions,” says Kaplowitz.

Kaplowitz adds that the tax hike will cost the average family around $30 extra a year. He says it won't be a burden like the GOP tax plan, which could scale back the deduction for state and local taxes.

Republican Legislator John Testa disagrees, saying taxpayers shouldn't have to pay anything more given the uncertainty of the federal plan.

"Without even waiting for that to be settled or waiting for a result, we are giving right off the bat a 2 percent tax increase, which is about $11 million added to the budget," he says.

County Executive Rob Astorino has vowed to veto the budget before he leaves office at the end of the year. County legislators could override that veto with 12 votes.

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