News Release

 

For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
(845) 486-2000
countyexec@co.dutchess.ny.us

For Immediate Release

February 25, 1999

 

COUNTY EXECUTIVE ENSURES TAX EXEMPTIONS FOR SENIORS

Poughkeepsie -- Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus has certified the necessity for immediate passage of a local law to increase the ceiling for the senior citizen property tax exemption from $18,500 to $19,500. The certification by the County Executive allowed the Legislature to enact this law at their February 8, 1999 meeting without having to convene again at a special meeting later this month. Bill Steinhaus signed the local law into effect on February 19, 1999.

"We need to move quickly on this certification and approval," said County Executive Steinhaus. "If the Legislature had not passed this bill during their February meeting, we risked missing this tax cycle and our senior citizens would have had to wait until next year. I am pleased I was able to work with the Legislature to ensure its passage in a timely fashion."

Effective March 1, 1999, any property owner over the age of sixty-five who receives an income of $19,500 or less annually will receive a 50% exemption from their county property taxes.' There will be a sliding scale with those who receive between $24,300 and $25,200 receiving a 20% tax exemption. "It was urgent that we pass this legislation immediately because those senior citizens who received increases in Social Security risked being moved into a higher income bracket. They could have ended up paying more in property taxes," Steinhaus said. "This helps seniors on fixed incomes maintain their present standard of living."

Normally a local law requires that members of the Legislature have a bill on their desk for at least seven days, or have had it mailed to them ten days prior to its final passage. However, there is an option that allows the County Executive to certify the necessity for the immediate passage of a local law. Such a law must be passed by a two thirds majority of the legislative body. "The Legislature unanimously passed the resolution," Steinhaus declared.

"This is great news. This will definitely help our seniors here in Dutchess County," said John Beale, Director of the Office for the Aging.

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