News Release



For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
(845) 486-2000

For Immediate Release

June 9, 1999

Steinhaus Seeks Immediate State Budget Action To Avoid $1.4 Million Cost To Local Property Taxpayers

Poughkeepsie, NY - County Executive William R. Steinhaus today sent a letter to local state legislators representing Dutchess County urging them to support Medicaid cost containment provisions in an emergency spending bill before June 30. Absent immediate action by the state legislature, the Dutchess County Budget would be thrown out of balance and Dutchess County property taxpayers would be subjected to an additional $1.4 million tax burden.

"I asked our state legislators to support adding the Medicaid cost containment provisions to an emergency spending bill because I think not doing so is unfair to Dutchess County property taxpayers," Steinhaus said. "These containment measures were enacted by the state legislature in 1995 and statewide county budgets have been created based on the continuation of these very cost containment measures."

At this time the Governor and the Senate have agreed to include these prior year Medicaid provisions in an emergency spending bill, but the Assembly Majority has been reluctant to endorse any Medicaid changes outside of a final budget agreement. "I would think since both houses of the state legislature previously adopted these measures and they were signed by the Governor, extending them prior to the June 30' deadline is common sense." Steinhaus commented.

"It is our duty to protect the local property taxpayers," noted Steinhaus. "If our county is forced to increase our property tax levy to cover these unexpected costs, we would be required to raise the county property tax levy nearly 3%. I don't find this to be an acceptable solution."


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