Latimer Signs 2024 Westchester County Budget

WESTCHESTER – Westchester County Executive George Latimer has signed the 2024 Westchester County Budget, his sixth, solidifying the County fiscal stability, sustainable development and enhanced public services. The 2024 Westchester County Budget totals $2.4 billion and maintains the same County property tax levy as 2023, marking the fifth consecutive year without a levy increase. The budget passed earlier in the day with bipartisan support from the Westchester County Board of Legislators.

Latimer said, “Today, I am proud to sign the 2024 Budget, a testament to our commitment to fiscal responsibility and sustainable growth in Westchester County. We offer support for the County’s most vulnerable residents by funding Federally Qualified Health Centers, helping children with special needs, providing safety net services and programs to address food insecurity, address the digital divide, workforce development, all while also supporting arts and cultural programs and addressing flooding across Westchester. This is a balanced, fiscally responsible budget that assists all residents.”

The budget signing comes on the heels of Westchester County being recognized by Fitch Ratings with a prestigious “AAA” credit rating. The “AAA” credit rating is the highest designation possible and underscores the County’s commitment to maintaining a solid financial foundation. This recognition not only reflects the County’s current financial standing but also positions it favorably for future economic challenges and opportunities. The “AAA” credit rating is expected to have a positive impact on Westchester County’s ability to secure favorable interest rates when issuing bonds, ultimately benefiting taxpayers and supporting continued investment in critical infrastructure and community initiatives.

Additionally, S&P Global Ratings has recently revised its outlook on Westchester County from stable to positive and affirmed its ‘AA+’ long-term rating on the County’s existing general obligation (GO) bonds. Simultaneously, S&P Global Ratings has assigned a ‘AA+’ rating to the County’s latest bond issuances, including the approximately $125.5 million series 2023A, approximately $27.5 million series 2023B, approximately $34.0 million taxable series 2023C, and approximately $15.6 million taxable series 2023D GO bonds.

Meanwhile, Moody’s Investors Service affirmed the County’s credit position as Aa1 stable. Additionally, due to another successful year of strong fiscal performance, the New York State Comptroller has recently lowered the fiscal stress score for the County to zero. This is the best score a municipality can achieve, indicating outstanding financial stability.

Latimer said, “I commend the Board of Legislators for their collaborative efforts in finalizing this Budget. Their fiscal diligence played a crucial role in crafting and approving a budget that will undoubtedly enhance the prosperity of Westchester County.”

Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Vedat Gashi said, “Due to the dedicated efforts and collaboration of the County Executive and the County Board of Legislators, we have maintained our commitment to keeping the tax burden in mind and making great strides to achieve an upgraded Bond Rating to AAA. We have done this by carefully managing resources to revive medium-term growth for County residents while improving public safety, transforming our mental health care system, protecting our environment, and investing in our children’s future.”

Westchester County Legislator and Budget & Appropriations Committee Chair Jewel Williams Johnson said, “The 2024 County Budget is a sound and balanced budget. It upholds our commitment to programs that meet the needs of Westchester County residents. I am very proud to Chair the Committee on Budget and Appropriations to usher through the approval of this budget today as it continues to emphasize health and mental health services, the development of affordable housing, and environmental programs. This budget is also a catalyst for creating an even more inclusive economy. I am so glad we’re continuing the child care scholarships, and I am very excited about the new initiatives in 2024, including a new Director of Flood Mitigation & Resiliency and funding for United Way’s new Growing Together Westchester Family Resource Tool for new parents.”

Westchester County Budget Director Larry Soule said, “The 2024 budget continues the practice of fiscally responsible budgeting that has been a mainstay of the Latimer administration as well as the Board of Legislators. This budget funds the necessary programs that enhance the lives of all Westchester residents and it does so in a sustainable manner.”

Westchester County Commissioner of Finance Karen Hablow said, “I commend the County Executive for once again putting together a structurally balanced budget which provides for expanded programs and services for the residents of Westchester. The 2024 budget reflects the County’s commitment to maintaining the fiscal stability it has achieved, and developing resilience for any future economic uncertainties.”

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