News Release


For More Information:

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

For Immediate Release

October 31, 2000



Poughkeepsie --- Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced today the average amount paid by the county property taxpayer is projected to drop approximately 4.7% in 2001 due to a reduction in the county property tax levy coupled with a growing tax base. Final budget decisions in several key areas enabled an actual reduction in the 2001 proposed property tax levy. The Year 2001 Executive Budget includes a property tax levy of $50,925,154 compared to $51,585,447 in the Year 2000 budget-- a reduction of 1.3%. This is the sixth of nine Steinhaus budgets to cut the county property tax levy. The 2001 levy proposed by Steinhaus is lower than when he first took office as Executive nine years ago in 1992.

True value property assessments (the property tax base) began their decline in 1994 after years of significant growth in the l980's. "We knew after the IBM downsizing that aggressive leadership, policies and strategies and nothing short of a herculean economic development effort was needed to get our local economy back on track," said Steinhaus. "Since then Dutchess County has received national recognition for its economic development comeback and one of the key payoffs is growing our property tax base through new and expanding commercial and residential property rateables."

"Rebuilding our local economy with a comprehensive, multidimensional economic development blueprint with an emphasis on diversification has been our formula for successfully adding thousands of new jobs, recruiting more than 70 new companies and now evidence we are growing our property tax base," noted Steinhaus. "Today our residents are ranked #6 in the country in household income growth, enjoy job growth at an enviable pace, have seen the value of their homes increase rapidly and have experienced their county share of property taxes reduced six times in the last nine years."

"And," continued Steinhaus, "we have managed a county government that has been successful in striking the right balance between the delivery and provision of a broad array of quality services to our residents yet at a modest cost to our homeowners, our senior citizens and the working families of our county."

"My announcement today means most county property owners, (homeowners and business properties) will again see their property taxes reduced," said Steinhaus. A small number of real property taxpayers scattered in a handful of municipalities may experience an increase due to state set equalization rates in the respective communities of the county. The county share of total property taxes levied county wide including school property taxes, town, city, fire districts, etc. is approximately 13%.

The county’s property tax levy is apportioned to the various communities according to formulas established in state law. The true value of properties within the various municipalities is the chief determinant of how the county property tax levy is apportioned. Accordingly, changes in taxable value and/or equalization rates in each community versus the changes in other communities determines if the individual taxpayers’ bill goes up or down.

The County Executive is scheduled to release his 2001 budget tomorrow, Wednesday November 1. A town-by-town listing of projected county property tax levels will be available to the County Legislature on Monday prior to the beginning of its budget review process.



2000 Press Releases