Westchester County, New York is not exactly the first county where you would expect to find a fiscal crisis at both the county and city levels.
After all, this county has some of the most expensive homes in the country and it is a place where many Fortune 500 companies have their headquarters – including computer giant IBM.
But that’s exactly what is happening as government officials across Westchester County struggle to make ends meet during the current recession.
The county had to implement massive spending cuts to address things like the soaring costs of employee health care and pension costs. Choked by labor contracts, the county eliminated 705 positions, asked parents to contribute more to the cost of subsidized daycare, eliminated subsidies to ethnic festivals, and raised golf fees on county owned courses.
Not surprisingly, the economic situation in Westchester County has spilled over into city budgets as well.
White Plains in particular is considering raising property taxes by 18%.
If that happens, it would be the largest property tax increase in over 20 years.
Even though the average home in White Plains is valued at over $728,000, an increase on that scale is bound to send shockwaves across this area. If the increase goes through the average homeowner would pay $445 more in annual property taxes just for the city portion of the annual tax bill.
White Plains is not only raising property taxes but it is also slashing 48 jobs in an effort to avoid raising taxes even further. The city is also considering furloughs as well as asking employees to offer additional wage and benefit concessions.
White Plains is a perfect example of how deep the current recession is. Despite high home values, and personal income levels that have typically been way above the national average, it is one of many Westchester County cities struggling to make ends meet.
As a Westchester County resident, you only have one choice to avoid paying more than your fair share of taxes. Use ValueAppeal to appeal your White Plains property tax assessment and let someone else absorb the ongoing costs of government waste and inefficiency.