Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus participated in a New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) conference call late today as county executives from across New York State were provided an updated outline of state budget negotiations. “The state budget news provided to county officials was grim - additional cost shifts even beyond what was already expected from the state to county property taxpayers are likely. Further cuts in state funds to pay for state mandated programs are also anticipated,” said County Executive Steinhaus.
“The devastating impact of the state budget to Dutchess County property taxpayers could be far beyond what we had previously been told,” said County Executive Steinhaus. “These devastating reductions from state officials could severely damage County finances, drive up local property taxes and force the elimination of important county services residents are currently receiving.”
“Based on what we heard today, there could be across the board cuts in programs and services from highway maintenance for county roads to health services for children and seniors. Residents could face longer lines at walk in services such as the Department of Motor Vehicles, Social Services and more,” Steinhaus continued.
The Dutchess County Budget Office had previously forecasted the proposed budget cost shifts in former Governor Spitzer’s original budget could result in a negative impact of more than $2.6 million for Dutchess County in 2008 and other $2.9 million in 2009 for a total negative impact of $5.5 million. The updates provided today suggest an additional $2 million potential negative impact to County taxpayers if the State budget policies discussed today become law.
“Our elected representatives in the state Senate and the Assembly must correct these cost shifts before the budget is finalized. Dutchess County property taxpayers must be protected from these potentially devastating impacts by their elected state representatives,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.