Layoffs But No Tax Hike Coming, Westchester Exec Says

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    Ryan McVay

    Westchester County's new leader says he will lay off hundreds of employees if necessary to avoid raising property taxes.

    County Executive Robert Astorino says he inherited a projected $166 million deficit for 2011.

    At a news conference Tuesday, Astorino said closing that gap with property taxes would mean a 30 percent increase for
    Westchester homeowners, but he said he would not raise taxes.

    Instead, he proposed several immediate cost-cutting measures just short of layoffs, including letting many vacant jobs go unfilled.
    Astorino said more severe measures, including layoffs, are required for the long term. He said he hopes union leaders will consider measures including pay cuts, pay freezes, furloughs and buyouts to limit the number of layoffs.