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Poll Finds Taxes Top Voters' Concerns In Westchester County Executive Race

In Westchester's November general election, Republican County Executive Rob Astorino will face off with Democratic challenger Noam Bramson, mayor of New Rochelle.
In Westchester's November general election, Republican County Executive Rob Astorino will face off with Democratic challenger Noam Bramson, mayor of New Rochelle. Photo Credit: File Photo

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – The majority of Westchester County residents say that economics should be the key issue for Westchester’s next county executive to focus on, while county residents were divided about whether the local taxes and fees they pay are fair.

The results of a Marist Poll were released Wednesday at the first debate incumbent County Executive Rob Astorino and Challenger Noam Bramson.

While 30 percent think taxes should be the top priority in the race for the next Westchester county executive, 63 percent reported that Westchester’s economy is on a steady course, according to polling results. Employment followed in level of concern with 21 percent and education ranked third with 19 percent.

Twelve percent of Westchester adults said economic development needs to be addressed in the county. Additionally, 7 percent ranked housing as the key issue in the county, 4 percent said poverty, 3 percent said transportation and 3 percent said crime.  Results show that less than 1 percent of adults polled cited race relations as the top priority for the next county executive.

In the Nov. 5 election, Astorino, a Republican, will face off against Democratic challenger Bramson, the New Rochelle mayor.

When asked, “Is Westchester County affordable for the average family,” 69 percent of adults surveyed said they do not think it is, results showed.

Fifty percent of adults surveyed said the amount they pay in local taxes and fees is unfair, with 48 percent reporting that is it fair and 2 percent said they were unsure, results said.  Among registered voters in the county, 53 percent believe their local taxes and fees are unfair, 46 percent said the amount they pay is on target and 1 percent said they were unsure.

Notably, 60 percent of Westchester homeowners who were polled said these fees are unfair based on their local services, the Marist Poll found.  Meanwhile, 38 percent reported that these costs are fair and 2 percent said they were unsure.

The poll was conducted by the Marist Institute of Public Opinion in partnership with the Business Council of Westchester County.

A breakdown of the Marist Poll results can be viewed online .