Westchester lawmakers approve new county budget for 2020

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Westchester lawmakers have approved a new county budget for next year.

In a 15 to 1 vote, legislators passed the $2.1 billion spending plan.

It includes a $1 million cut to the county's property tax levy, an additional $10 million in the general reserve fund, as well as increased support for child care, public safety and nonprofits.

The amount of actual tax relief will vary from homeowner to homeowner and depends on where people live, but this is the first cut since 2011. Officials say the tax cut was possible after they raised the sales tax rate.

Lawmakers call this one of the best budgets they've worked on in a long time.

"It was a very good collaborative effort between the administration and the legislature and that's what we really need to do moving forward. We need to make sure that all of our budgets reflect the priorities of Westchester County," said Catherine Borgia, Westchester Legislature Budget Committee chair.

The budget includes $1.5 million for affordable housing, $1 million in economic development and nearly $500,000 for environmental initiatives.

Legislators also voted 10 to 6 to increase their pay by more than 50% for next year. Their salaries will go up from $49,000 to $75,000 starting in January. The last time legislators got a raise was in 2005.

Westchester Executive George Latimer announced he will sign the budget Tuesday.

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