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Dutchess County’s 2017 Budget Adopted with Bipartisan Support
Continued Tax Relief, Level Spending and No Reduction to Services or Programs
Poughkeepsie, NY… The Dutchess County Legislature adopted the 2017 Dutchess County Budget last night by a 24-1 bipartisan vote. The adopted budget, with few amendments to Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro’s Tentative County Budget, reduces the county property tax levy for the third consecutive year and provides another property tax rate reduction for homeowners and businesses, with no reduction to services or programs. The budget reduces the county property tax levy by more than $170,000 and lowers the property tax rate for a second straight year from $3.60 to $3.58 per $1,000 of true value assessments.
County Executive Molinaro said, “This 2017 County Budget is the latest example of our work over the past five years to return fiscal stability to Dutchess County, having overcome serious financial hurdles. Between reducing the property tax levy for a third straight year and assuring another property tax rate reduction, all while maintaining our core services and expanding others, this budget was formulated with Dutchess County residents in mind. I’m grateful to the members of the Dutchess County Legislature for their careful consideration of this spending plan and for sharing a vision for our county in which we can all take pride.”
Dutchess County Legislature Chairman Dale Borchert said, “For more than a month, my colleagues in the Legislature and I poured over the budget proposal, listening to our constituents’ concerns while considering a pact that best serves the residents of Dutchess County. I thank my fellow legislators – particularly those members of the Budget, Finance and Personnel Committee – for their diligent deliberations to ensure an open process that represented every voice. County Executive Molinaro and his administration are to be applauded for their efforts to rein in spending while still providing the high-quality programs our residents deserve. We can all be proud of the balanced budget that has been produced, the result of a partnership the Legislature and this administration have fostered for several years.”
Legislative Amendments to the 2017 County Budget include:
• $25,000 for a Peer-to-Peer recovery support counselor at the Dutchess County Jail and new Stabilization Center;
• $100,000 in additional funding for the Office for the Aging to enable the delivery of senior meals 5 days a week, beginning in the second half of 2017;
• $25,000 in additional support to expand hours of operation at Mental Health America’s Living Room Homeless Day Shelter in the City of Poughkeepsie from 7:00am to 7:00pm, 7 days a week;
• $10,000 for education and public outreach funding for well testing and pesticide use;
• $5,000 for tick removal kits and other educational outreach about tick-borne illness;
• $5,000 for human rights outreach efforts; and
• $14,000 to increase stipends for Emergency Response Deputy Coordinators.
The expense of amendments were offset by corresponding state aid reimbursement and the projected increase in sales tax.
Dutchess County Legislator Angela Flesland, Chair of the Budget, Finance and Personnel Committee, said, “The task of allocating taxpayers’ money is not one this committee, nor the Legislature as a whole, takes lightly. When 70 percent of the county budget must pay for state and federal mandates, fiscal prudence is a main concern for this Legislature. This is a budget to be proud of—a thoughtful plan that meets the needs of our residents. We have been able to add critical services such as Peer-to-Peer recovery support for drug counseling and senior home care services while still delivering a tax reduction to our residents. I thank my fellow committee members, my legislative colleagues, County Executive Molinaro and his administration for their attention to our residents’ needs and for finding the fiscally sound way of addressing them.”
Dutchess County Legislator Will Truitt said, “Dutchess County’s home delivered meal program provides a valuable service to our most vulnerable seniors. I thank my fellow legislators for their support of our seniors, adding funding to expand this important Office for the Aging service. Expanding the program to 5-day service will ensure seniors receive the nutrition they need with a friendly check-in.”
Dutchess County Legislator Kari Rieser said, “The 2017 County Budget reflects the cooperative and collaborative approach taken by the Legislature and County Executive Molinaro to find a balance that does not reduce services and ensures the needs of county residents are met. The additional funding for the expansion of the hours of operation at the Living Room Homeless Day Shelter located at the Family Partnership Center in the City of Poughkeepsie will provide the homeless with the resources and help they need to successfully transition back into the community.”
County Executive Molinaro said, “Our 2017 budget continues our efforts to make Dutchess County stronger, safer, healthier and kinder. Dutchess County will move even closer toward our goal of becoming New York’s healthiest county by continuing our innovative program to deliver microgreens to our most vulnerable residents – children and seniors. Our ‘ThinkDIFFERENTLY’ efforts will also grow in the coming year, as we’ll offer more job opportunities and training to residents with special needs, and we will again put a focus on initiatives that positively impact the lives of our youths. Just a few of the enhancements our county will see as a result of this budget, these programs will benefit residents in countless ways, and I thank my legislative partners for their help in funding them.”
The adoption of the 2017 Dutchess County Budget followed several public forums, including a countywide tele-town hall, where residents had the opportunity to speak with County Executive Molinaro to learn about the details of the budget, ask questions and share their feedback.
The final step in the 2017 Dutchess County Budget process– the adoption of the tax levy – will be on Thursday, December 15th at the Dutchess County Legislature’s Board meeting.
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2017 Dutchess County Budget Major Highlights include:
• Property Tax Levy Reduction of more than $170,000;
• Property Tax Rate Reduced from $3.60 to $3.58 per $1,000 of true value assessments;
• Total appropriations of $467 million, relatively flat at 0.2% change over current spending;
• No reduction in programs or services;
• $1.7 million investment in economic development, tourism, arts and agriculture to continue to strengthen the local economy;
• $15.25 million infrastructure investment for road and bridge repairs and improvements;
• Expansion of Public Transit services including Sunday service, new route option and service expansion into City of Poughkeepsie, if city bus services cease;
• Renaming and rebranding of Dutchess County Airport as Hudson Valley Regional Airport;
• Dutchess County’s model of restorative justice, focused on prevention, intervention, diversion and transition;
• Nationally awarded microgreen nutrition program;
• Opening of the Stabilization Center;
• Continued efforts to combat opiate and heroin drug addiction and abuse;
• Expansion of ThinkDIFFERENTLY initiatives, including Project Safe Return;
• Expansion of senior services including increased funding for home care and senior meal delivery;
• Additional Peer-to-Peer recovery support services at the Dutchess County Jail and Stabilization Center; and
• Increased support to expand the hours of operation at Mental Health America’s Living Room Homeless Day Shelter in the City of Poughkeepsie from 7:00am to 7:00pm, 7 days a week.
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