Poughkeepsie…Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus said today State Legislators can save $3 million dollars for Dutchess taxpayers by transferring back to the state the 50 to 70 state criminals Sheriff Anderson is required by the state to house in the Dutchess County Jail.
The County Executive has been provided information from the Sheriff and county budget staff which shows it is costing the county budget and county property taxpayers $3 million dollars each year to keep state prisoners in the county jail. "That $3 million dollars equals a five percent higher property tax bill over what homeowners should be paying,” said Steinhaus.
“The Sheriff is required to house state prisoners in the county jail that belong in state prison and it costs the county budget about $3 million dollars each year to feed them, to provide medical care, to clothe them, and to give them TV. The County must pay millions of dollars in payroll and benefits to hire county corrections officers to guard state prisoners,” noted Steinhaus. "$3 million dollars can be erased from the county property tax bill in one minute as soon as these state prisoners are transferred back to state prisons where they belong. There are two state prisons right here in Dutchess County at Downstate in Fishkill and Green Haven in Beekman,” Steinhaus continued.
Steinhaus has called on the County’s two State Senators to make arrangements with the New York State Commission on Corrections to take these state criminals back into state custody. Steinhaus stated, "Neither this multi-million dollar expense or these state criminals are the responsibility of the county. These criminals should not be a burden to county taxpayers – many who are senior citizens on fixed incomes who struggle to pay property tax bills. It’s clear to me they are state prisoners and they belong in state prison and our state legislators should be picking up their own tab,” concluded Steinhaus.