Galef Commits to Supporting 1/8% Sales Tax for the Westchester Medical Center

Keeping the doors of the hospital open vital to region
April 8, 2005

Assemblywoman Sandy Galef is pledging to support the call for a 1/8% sales tax in Westchester County and the other six counties in the hospital’s service area in order to preserve the most critical care tertiary services offered at the Westchester County Medical Center. The 1/8% sales tax would not be a new tax but a continuation of the MTA tax that is now collected in the Hudson Valley region. The 1/8% sales tax would bring $20 to $30 million to the medical center.

"Westchester County government announced two days ago that they would provide $27 million to the operation of the hospital," stated Galef. "Now it is the state’s turn to act and support the continuation of the 1/8% sales tax and be a significant partner in rescuing the hospital. It is too important to every person, family, and business in the region to allow the doors of the hospital to close and the tertiary services it provides to be stopped.

"When there is a terrible accident on the Taconic Parkway or any of our other roads, I know how critical it is that an accident victim get quick medical attention at the nearest hospital offering trauma care – and that is the Westchester Medical Center. Going to New York City or Albany means more travel time and less of a chance of survival for the accident victim," stated Galef.

"For families to be forced to get tertiary medical care in New York City or in Albany is unacceptable. The costs of health services would be more expensive in the city and the personal costs to other family members in travel time, parking, and hotels would place an additional burden on the families. There is no question that we absolutely need the Westchester Medical Center to survive and thrive," said Galef.

Assemblyman George Latimer, 91st AD, said, "I am in support of Sandy Galef’s position. This is the immediate direction we should be taking in order to preserve the vital services at the Westchester Medical Center. We can continue to work with all the counties served by the hospital to achieve a long-term solution."

Assemblyman Adam Bradley, 89th AD, stated, "I strongly support a 1/8% regional approach but recognize so far in the legislature only Westchester County has embraced this. We must be looking at all other revenue options to save the hospital."

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, 88th AD, commented, "I support the 1/8% sales tax, however I am concerned that other counties are not in agreement. We need to find a viable solution for the operation of the Westchester Medical Center."