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News Release    

April 9, 2009      

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

New Database Shows County Government Ranks High for Fiscal Responsibility
Best Ranking in Mid Hudson Region

Poughkeepsie… A new database developed by The Business Council’s Public Policy Institute and the Empire Center for New York State Policy confirmed Dutchess County Government’s ongoing commitment to conservative fiscal policy, noted Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus.    Dutchess County Government’s spending and taxes per resident were ranked among the lowest of all 57 counties in New York State and had the best ranking among the medium and large counties of the Mid-Hudson region.

“Dutchess County is once again recognized as a leader in New York State for our careful, conservative financial management and our successful, ongoing efforts to working smarter - always striving to do more with less,” said County Executive Steinhaus.  “Our mantra has always been and will continue to be… we cannot spend what we do not have.”

Dutchess County Government had the best ranking of all the medium and large sized counties of the Mid Hudson region in several key categories, with the lowest spending for total expenditures per capita, lowest taxes per capita, lowest debt per capita, lowest employee benefit costs per capita and more.  

County Executive Steinhaus said, “It is important that families and businesses in Dutchess know that as they pinch pennies in these difficult times, we in county government have been pinching pennies for many years.  Now, Dutchess County Government has been proven as a state leader in protecting taxpayer money.”

“By working smarter over the years through innovation, partnership, and collaborations, we have been able to control costs for property taxpayers,” said Steinhaus.  Continued restructuring of our workforce and constant focus on service outcomes and evidence based practices has allowed us to provide the best and most effective services for taxpayers’ dollars and we have been able to do that with fewer county employees than when I took office in 1992.” 

County Executive Steinhaus continued, “Generally, we always want to be #1…. except when it comes to spending taxpayers’ money.    We are proud to rank among the lowest spending counties in New York State.  This has been achieved with a dynamic, dedicated management team and an outstanding group of rank and file county employees.”

   Dutchess  Orange Rockland   Ulster  Westchester
 Population  292,746    377,169   296,483   181,860   951,325
 Size Classification  Medium  Medium  Medium  Medium  Large
 Total Expenditures Per Capita
      NYS Rank (out of 57)
 Taxes Per Capita
     NYS Rank (out of 57)
 Debt Per Capita
     NYS Rank (out of 57)
 Debt Service Per Capita
     NYS Rank (out of 57)
 Employee Benefits Per Capita
     NYS Rank (out of 57)

  • Total expenditures per capita were defined as the total for all categories divided by population.

  • Taxes per capita were defined as the sum of real property taxes and assessments, other real property tax items, sales and use tax and other non-property taxes, divided by population.

  • Debt per capita was defined as total amount of outstanding debt divided by population.

  • Debt service per capita was defined as the total amount of expenditures for debt service divided by population. Debt service may include the following subcategories: debt principal and interest on debt.

  • Employee Benefits Per Capita were defined as the total amount of expenditures for public employee benefits divided by population. Employee benefits may include the following subcategories: contributions to State and local retirement plans, police and fire retirement plans, teacher retirement plans, Length of Service Award Programs (LOSAPs), social security taxes, medical insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, workers' compensation, unemployment insurance, union benefits programs, and unclassified employee benefits.

The database, called Benchmarking New York, features per-capita spending and tax information for 17 various categories.    The data is compiled from 2007 local government finance reports assembled by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.    The complete database can be accessed at


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Last Updated: 4/10/2009