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News Release    

December 16, 2008      

For Further Information Contact:
William R. Steinhaus, County Executive
(845) 486-2000

Democrat Budget Raises Property Tax Rate 11%

Poughkeepsie… “As we have been saying for weeks, the Democrats flawed process could only end with flawed results.  Tonight, the verdict is in and the result is a Democrat party property tax increase of 11% for county property taxpayers,” said Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus.

“On October 31st, I submitted a 2009 Executive Budget proposal that cut spending and cut the property tax levy.   In these tough economic times, we knew how important it was to keep the county property tax rate flat and that is exactly what we did,” said County Executive Steinhaus.  “The Democrats obviously felt differently and believe county taxpayers should swallow an 11% property tax increase.”

Over the past several days, the County Executive and the professional budget staff have worked continuously to work through the more than last minute 700 budget amendments adopted by the Democrat Majority last week.  The budget amendments were riddled with errors and contained harsh service delivery cuts.  Also included were unlawful amendments, involving millions of dollars in the budget that Democrats were fully aware they needed to address.

In an attempt to undue some of the most significant damage done to County finances, County Executive Steinhaus vetoed more than 200 of the Democrats’ 700 budget amendments.  The County Executive focused his vetoes on amendments that were illegal, morally wrong or that had cut county services that must be performed.   He also attempted to provide the most damage control possible.   “I could not effectively veto every single budget amendment.   In no way do I endorse or support the remaining budget amendments on the budget adopted by Democrats.   We had to triage the damage the Democrats have done to the County budget as best we could, but we could not work miracles.”

“The Democrats have done severe short and long term damage to the foundation of our county government finances and there will be multi-year implications to their rash decisions.    It will take years to recover from this as county government tries not to drown under the mess the Democrats have created,” said County Executive Steinhaus.

“The Democratic Leadership in the County Legislature left county residents to suffer the consequences of higher property tax and service cuts,” said Steinhaus.  “The Democrats would not consider, or even discuss, the tough decisions that could have been made to avoid this mess.”  

“Whichever democrat party leader or advisor was the “genius architect” that created this double digit property tax budget disaster should resign or be fired for leading their fellow democrats over the cliff,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.


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Last Updated: 12/17/2008