District 1 Communities’ Tax Reduction Will Exceed the -2.2% County Levy Adopted for 2011

Although overall county spending is still too high and the level of some projected revenues is no more than wishful thinking, the Westchester County’s overall tax rate for 2011 will be cut for the first time in decades!

The overall -2.2% tax reduction is the result of a year’s worth of pressure by County Executive Astorino and the insistence by Republican legislators to change the way county government operates. After 12 years of unrelenting increases in spending and ever expanding programs, it’s long past the time to change the attitudes, costs and how county government does its job. We still have a long way to go.

Due to inconsistent NY State equalization rates and varying assessment throughout the county, the county tax rate is different for each community. Although a few will see an increase in their tax rate, most will experience a reduction.

The municipalities I represent in District 1 will all see a significant reduction in their county tax bills this year. According to the Westchester County Tax Commission, the City of Peekskill will have a -5.91% tax reduction, the Town of Cortlandt -2.26% and Yorktown -2.98%.

There is still much to be done. Spending is still too high. The Democratic supermajority restored $32 million in spending to the 2011 budget by overriding County Executive Astorino’s vetoes. Lawsuits have been initiated by the Democratic legislators to stop the county executive from streamlining the workforce and eliminating expensive, unnecessary contracts.

Rest assured, my colleagues and I in the Republican caucus will continue to work with County Executive Astorino to further the right sizing of county government and bring relief to the hard working families of Westchester.

We have done much in just one year’s time. Image where we will be as we continue to push for policies that make sense for the residents of Westchester. You can count on me to do just that.

About Legislator John G. Testa

John G. Testa, a life-long resident of Peekskill, began his first term on the Westchester County Legislature in January 2010. Prior to his successful run for the District 1 Legislative seat, he served 3 terms as Mayor of Peekskill from January 2002 until December 2007. Before becoming mayor he also served a four-year term as a Councilman. From his first days in office Testa worked tirelessly to set the City on the path of economic stability. Peekskill flourished under this plan, increasing the city fund balance to its highest in history. During John’s tenure in office, the NY State Comptroller’s Office named Peekskill one of the most fiscally sound municipalities in the State; independent auditors proclaimed Peekskill as being in its best fiscal condition in over 30 years; and Moody’s Investor Service agreed to upgrade its bond rating, resulting in further savings. The plan he put in place was so successful that it enabled the City of Peekskill to pass three budgets in a row with a 0% tax increase. These fiscal skills will prove valuable to Testa as he works to put the brakes on what has been wildly escalating county spending and unchecked government growth. He has pledged his efforts to work to consolidate services, eliminate wasteful spending and improve efficiency. In addition to the fiscal conservatism that served Peekskill so well, Testa worked to promote the city, attracting investment, jobs and an increased tax base. Over $100 million of private investment came to Peekskill in the forms of new residential construction, retail space, and the redevelopment of historic structures. As Mayor, Testa led a successful battle to stop the unfair and unsafe plan to send sewage to the Peekskill plant from outside the sewage/water district. John’s roots are deep within the soil of Northern Westchester. His father’s family has lived here for more than a century and his mother’s family is nearing that mark. He is proud that he was born in Peekskill and has lived and worked here all his life and, with his wife Nancy raised their two children here.
This entry was posted in government, politics, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to District 1 Communities’ Tax Reduction Will Exceed the -2.2% County Levy Adopted for 2011

  1. Pingback: [New post] District 1 Communities’ Tax Reduction Will Exceed the -2.2% County Levy Adopted for 2011 | Warning … Bazzo at Work!

  2. Rob Ambrosio says:

    Dear Mr. Testa,

    What good will it do us tax payers if the county reduces taxes by 2.2 percent and our
    local towns increase taxes by 4 or 5 percent? Also increases its spending each year?
    Will will tax payers ever catch a break here in westchester? People are being forced
    out of their own homes due to out of control taxes and spending.

    • Rob,
      As I did previously as mayor and now as a county legislator I will do what I can to support taxpayers at the level of government I have influence. I understand your frustration with local taxes. It shows how important local elections are and how apathy can result in election results that are not in the best interest of those who pay the bills. Elections have consequences, both positive and negative. It is critical that the right people get elected, no matter what party they belong to.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s