NY Legislature approves WC request to increase sales tax by 1 percentage point

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YONKERS -

It's about to get more expensive to shop in Westchester County.

The state Legislature has approved the county's request to increase its sales tax by 1 percentage point following a close vote on Tuesday.

The tax is going from 7.375% to 8.375% in the county's towns and villages, and in the cities of Rye and Peekskill.

Newly elected state Sen. Peter Harckham is one of a handful of Democrats who voted against the bill.

"I would have preferred for it to be a little more gradual. Maybe half a percent, see how we do, and then maybe another half percent,” says Harckham.

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, of Scarsdale, voted for the increase. She said by phone that she was worried about the possibility of the county having to sell off parkland to balance its 2019 budget.

County Executive George Latimer says that it brings Westchester's sales tax rate on par with neighboring Rockland and Putnam counties.

"We're trying to stabilize our finances, control property taxes. Share money back,” he says.

The measure now goes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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