Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced his 2010 Executive Budget cuts 2010 spending by $2.5 million below the 2009 projected spending levels and freezes the property tax levy at its 2009 level of $94.6 million.
“Residents have called on us to cut spending and hold the line on property taxes and that is exactly what we did in this budget,” said County Executive Steinhaus. “When local families and businesses are struggling with their own fiscal pressures, higher county property taxes and higher county spending cannot be justified or sustained.”
Appropriations will total $398.9 million for 2010 as compared to 2009 modified appropriations of $401.4 million. County government will be further scaled back to county employee workforce levels lower than twenty-four years ago in 1987, although the demand for county services has significantly increased. The 2010 budget proposal reduces the County workforce by fifty-six positions which regrettably must include twenty-five occupied positions to help close the budget gap.
Declining revenues, state mandated and non-discretionary spending requirements and the continuing damage of the overall economic downturn all contributed to an unprecedented initial budget gap of $50 million. To close the gap, County Executive Steinhaus returned all initial budget submissions to departments and elected officials to be reworked. All departments cooperated with the request to restructure their 2010 spending plans, with the exception of the County Legislature and the Board of Elections, who refused to cut their spending. “I commend department heads and elected officials who showed the strong leadership required to make the tough decisions that needed to be made given the financial challenges taxpayers and county government are facing,” County Executive Steinhaus wrote in his budget message to county legislators.
“It will be easy for legislators to criticize the proposals included in this budget and they are certain to be quick in voicing their opposition,” said Steinhaus. “But in the same breath legislators must be challenged to offer their viable solutions of how much they will raise property taxes for their favorite programs.”
This budget does not represent what we want to do, it represents what we have to do,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus. “Reality is the money does not exist to sustain government as it exists today. In 2010, county government will do less because we have less.”
County Executive Steinhaus’ full budget message and the complete 2010 Executive Budget will be available online at www.dutchessny.gov by Wednesday, November 4th.
- Click HERE to read the County Executive's 2010 Budget Message (.pdf)