YONKERS, N.Y. -- Westchester County Legislator Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers) is introducing legislation to start procurement policy that prioritizes county contracts to local businesses.
The Westchester First legislation would ensure the county seeks those firms that have a presence in the county for more than one year and are utilizing more than fifty residents when awarding contracts, according to a release.
“It’s time for the County to have a blanket policy about doing its business, whenever possible, with local entities that have our residents on the payroll,” said Jenkins in the release. “By keeping this sizable amount financial activity in the county we’ll be doing more to help boost local economies and keep all our Main Street shops open for business, thus strengthening our communities for the challenges ahead.”
Jenkins said the idea is to "eliminate shell companies from being created" for the purpose of securing work that requires a New York-based business or corporation. A $45 million County contract was awarded without an RFP process recently, Jenkins said, to a New York corporation that was established “in state” just two days before getting the contract, according to the release.
“It is wise to remember that County contracts are being funded with taxpayer dollars,” said Jenkins. “There is no reason why we cannot work to point these substantial investments to businesses and residents in our communities.”
The Westchester First legislation will extend to those companies receiving tax incentives that modify Westchester County taxes, including tax credits and PILOT programs. If necessary, a review process will establish when exceptions to the policy can be granted.