Senate Passes Extension of Westchester County Sales Tax

Suzi Oppenheimer

July 20, 2009


A bill to extend the Westchester County sales tax, sponsored by Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) passed the Senate and was signed into law by Governor Paterson on July 11, 2009.

The legislation extends until May 31, 2012, the provisions of the Westchester County Spending Limitation Act relating to the collection and distribution of county sales taxes.  Since its inception, the sales tax has been a critically important source of revenue for Westchester County, its local governments and school districts.  It has provided revenues to the county of $541 million, with $692 million going to municipalities and $235 million to school districts.

“Enacting the sales tax extension in this legislative session,” said Senator Oppenheimer, “will enable the County and the local governments and school districts that rely on these sales tax revenues to more appropriately plan their budgets for the coming fiscal year.  In this difficult economic environment, failure to extend the sales tax provisions would have had a devastating impact on those entities and would have likely resulted in substantial property tax increases and significant service cuts to cover the anticipated revenue shortfall.”

Senator Oppenheimer also sponsored renewal of two local sales tax measures for New Rochelle and White Plains. Those cities rely upon sales tax revenue as an important funding alternative to the property tax.  Both bills passed the Senate. The White Plains sales tax extension has been signed into law. The New Rochelle sales tax bill was delivered to the Governor for his consideration on July 17th.