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					                   What is county government?
States established the county system of government as a way to deliver services more efficiently on a grass roots
basis. There are 3,067 counties in the United States. Only Connecticut and Rhode Island have no functioning county
governments. All county governments are led by an elected body. Westchester, one of New York State’s original ten
counties, was first led by the Board of Justices which sat for the first time on November 1, 1683. The legislature then
became the Board of Supervisors and is now called the Westchester County Board of Legislators.

The 17-member County Board is the lawmaking branch of county government. It sets policies that protect and
serve Westchester’s nearly one million residents and allocates the money needed to operate county programs and
services. It has oversight responsibility of the executive branch which was created in 1939 to carry out its policies.
Each County Legislator, elected to a two-year term, represents a district of about 50,000 residents.
Westchester County’s Budget
More than two-thirds of Westchester County government’s workload consists of delivering services and programs
mandated by the state of New York. Some of those services are entirely funded by the state and others, most
notably Medicaid, are paid through a state (25%), federal (50%) and county (25%) split. The County Board controls
less than one-third of the county budget, considered discretionary or non-mandated. (Please see the chart on the
flip side of this page for a breakdown of mandated and discretionary services).


Where do your property                                                                       sources of county
      taxes go?                                                                                  revenue
   Contrary to popular perception, county                                              16%
   services do not account for a large                                                                          28%
   piece of the property tax dollar.                                                                                                 Sales Tax
                                                                                                                                     Property Tax
                                                                                25%                                                  Fed/State Aid
               5¢              7¢                  2¢                                                                                Other
   ¢
6.9 r       17. nty        14. own              61. ols
   he          u              y/T                  ho
Ot          Co            Cit                   Sc
                                                                                                           31%

                                                                                    County/Town Revenue Sharing
                                                                                    Counties, unlike NYC or NYS, collect no
                                                                                    income taxes. Unlike other counties,
                                                                                    Westchester shares its sales tax revenues
                                                                                    with towns and school districts.


  Citizen involvement is critical to the success of county government.
  County government belongs to the people of Westchester. The legislative process is open, transparent and accessible to all
  Westchester residents. County Board and Committee meeting calendars and agendas are posted on the Board’s Web site at:
  www.westchesterlegislators.com. Your county legislators have been the voice of the people of Westchester for 325
  years. To best represent your interests and ensure your voice is heard, they need and would like to hear from you.

  Westchester County Board of Legislators ● 148 Martine Avenue, 8th Floor, White Plains, New York 10601 ● (914) 995-3277 ● www.westchesterlegislators.com
                          WHAT DO E S THE COUNTY DO?
 About two-thirds of the county’s operating budget goes toward paying for services mandated by the state. The cost
 to deliver social services—$570 million—accounts for almost half of those mandates. County government provides a
 regional, cost-effective solution for delivering services that local municipalities would have to otherwise provide and
 fund through property taxes. The bottom-line—county government offers efficiencies that save taxpayer dollars.

PUBLIC HEALTH & SAFETY                                                   SOCIAL SERVICES                         COUNTY CLERK
  Â Communicable Disease Control                                           Â Medicaid                             Â Land Records
  Â Environmental Health                                                   Â Child Protective Services            Â Legal Documents
  Â Community Health                                                       Â Child Support Enforcement            Â Passports
  Â Inspections: restaurants, hotels,                                      Â Family Emergency Assistance          Â UCC filings
    day camps; water, solid waste                                          Â Housing Placement                    Â Pistol Permits
    systems                                                                Â Homeless Services                    Â Licensing-Plumbers,
                                                                                                                     Electricians
                                           State
 CONSUMER PROTECTION                       Mandated                                           PUBLIC                  BOARD OF ELECTIONS
  Â Consumer Complaints                                                                       ADMINISTRATOR            Â Voter Registration
  Â Weights & Measures
  Â Home Contractor Licensing
                                           $1.2 Billion                                                                Â ALL county, village,
                                                                                                                          water, fire, library &
                                                                                          DISTRICT ATTORNEY               school district elections
PROBATION               CORRECTIONS                                                         Â Prosecutions
  Â Family Court         Â County Jail                                                      Â Special Bureaus: Environmental Crimes; Narcotics;
  Â Criminal Court       Â Penitentiary                                                        Gang & Gun; Stop DWI; High Tech Crime; Child Abuse;
                                                                                               Domestic Violence Bias Crimes; Economic Crimes


  Environmental Facilities                   Less than 1/3 of the county’s operating budget goes
  Department: a model for
  consolidated services
                                             toward funding non-mandated or discretionary services.
    •   7 wastewater treatment plants       EMERGENCY SERVICES                                                         PUBLIC WORKS
    •   194 miles of sewers                   Â 24/7 county-wide fire                                                    Â 154 miles county
                                                & EMS coordination                                                         roads
    •
    •
        4,000 manholes
        42 pump stations                      Â Special Operations        diScretionary                                  Â 165 county bridges
                                              Â Fire Training Facility                                                   Â 2 million sq. ft. office
    •
    •
        Water Filtration Systems
        4 water districts                       for local depts.          $576 Million                                     space
    •   Kensico Dam                           Â HAZMAT Team                                                              Â 600 county acres
    •   Charles Point Trash Disposal          Â Bomb Squad                                                               Â 300 county vehicles
    •   Materials Recycling Facility          Â Arson Unit
                                              Â WMD Response
                                              Â Emergency                         LABS & RESEARCH                      PUBLIC SAFETY &
  What happened to those old                    Evacuation:                         Â Medical Examiner                 SECURITY
  incinerators?                                 hurricanes, Indian                  Â Public Health Labs                 Â Highway patrols
                                                Point                               Â Forensics; Crime Labs              Â Local Law
  They were forced closed by court            Â Regional emergency                  Â Environmental Labs                   Enforcement Training
  order in 1982. The county built the           response coordinator                                                     Â Units: Environmental
  Charles Point Recovery Facility in                                            TRANSPORTATION                             Security, Bomb Squad,
  Peekskill which today handles solid                                             Â Bee Line Bus System (89 routes)        Aviation, Special Ops.,
  waste from 36 of the county’s 43          PARKS, RECREATION &                   Â Westchester County Airport             Canine, Narcotics
  municipalities or about 90% of the        CONSERVATION                          Â Para transit
  county’s population. The $220 million       Â 18,000 acres of open space
  solid waste cost is partially paid by       Â 6 golf courses                     PLANNING                            COMMUNITY MENTAL
  participating municipalities that pay       Â 17 Parks                             Â Affordable Housing              HEALTH
  $25/ton of the $77/ton cost.                Â 5 Conservation areas                 Â Open Space                        Â Case Management
                                              Â Rye Playland                         Â Water Quality                     Â Depression Help Line
  Each sewer district has its own budget      Â Westchester County Center            Â Farm Protection                   Â Substance Abuse
  and is not included in the county’s         Â New ballfields                       Â Community/Economic                Â Mental Health Court
  operating budget.                           Â Historic Sites                         Development                       Â Alternative to
                                              Â Bronx River Conservancy              Â Land Use Planning                   Incarceration Services

				
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