Poughkeepsie... Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus, in a letter to each of Dutchess County’s representatives in the New York State Legislature, stressed the need for New York State to pay more than $5 million in reimbursements long overdue to Dutchess County Government for providing the state mandated Preschool Special Education Program.
“County taxpayers have paid the state’s bill, fronting the money for these mandated services and our local taxpayers rightfully expect to be reimbursed now,” said County Executive Steinhaus. “Taxpayers are not given the option of ignoring their bills, why should New York State government be allowed to do so?”
County Executive Steinhaus noted in his letter that the uncertainty of state reimbursement payments brings additional financial stress for Dutchess County, as well as all counties across the state, making it extremely challenging to manage the County’s current year budget and prepare a 2010 budget. The impact of the current recession is causing a decline in sales tax revenues and other economically driven revenues. At the same time, demand for mandated services is increasing from residents who are also feeling the impact of the economy. “The state’s practice of delaying payments owed us seriously impacts our ability to continue to pay up front for these state mandated programs,” said Steinhaus.
“It is long past time for the State to realize that local property taxpayers can no longer afford to pay for ‘business as usual’ from Albany officials,” said County Executive Steinhaus. “The State has done nothing to proactively address their fiscal woes and now they are holding back reimbursement payments owed county government so they can collect interest earnings on our county property taxpayers’ money. It is simply unacceptable.”
- See Letters (.pdf)