Board of Legislators Raid on Reserve Fund Will Push Westchester Off the Fiscal Cliff
With the 2013 Budget on the table, the Board of Legislators wants to dip into the County’s Reserve Fund to the tune of $16 million to balance the budget. By raiding those funds, they will put our AAA credit rating in grave peril.
Shame on You!, Westchester County Board of Legislators!
Make no mistake about it: once our credit rating is compromised, it will cost us more to borrow when interest rates go up. And that means big tax hikes! Downgrading also can lead to loss of jobs, reduction in essential services, and budget deficits. We will pay through the nose for years to come.
Here’s what the numbers mean: Westchester County presently has over $1 billion in debt. If our borroiwng rates go up by 2% because of downgraded credit, that could result in an additional $20 million interest bill or a 4% tax levy. If we have to pay additional interest costs of 3%, you could expect to see a 6% tax hike!
As we are in dire need of improving our infrastructure, stimulating the regional economy, and creating jobs, we call on our legislators to do what’s right for current and future Westchester County residents. Streamline expenses, become more efficient, find ways to raise revenues. But don’t raid our valuable reserves in order to pay for operating expenses. It’s too big a price to pay for us and for our children, who will bear the brunt of this dangerous decision for years to come.
Our Call to Action:
Contact your legislators today and demand that they keep their hands off the Reserve Fund. Ask for their pledge: no tax increase and no raid on the Reserve Fund. Last year, the County heeded the WCA’s advice to maintain our Triple A credit rating. Strongly urge them to do the same this year. Westchester’s future depends on it.
BOL Gives Residents No Time to Study Proposed Budget. What Happened to Transparency?
Our second beef with the Board of Legislators: Transparency. With their vote set for tomorrow (Dec. 6) on a proposed $1.7 billion budget, why didn’t the BOL give the public any time for review and input? Is the BOL just resorting to political trickery in an election year or do they fear public comment?
Whether or not you agree with the County Executive's budget proposal, there was ample time for public comment, including 3 public hearings. The BOL puts forth its revised version and then proceeds to vote on it with no time for public input or review. Change the process. Be more responsive to the Westchester taxpayer. There’s just too much at stake.