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2022 Dutchess County Budget Adopted with Historic Tax Relief and Expanded Services for Residents

Published: 12/2/2021

Poughkeepsie, NY… The 2022 Dutchess County Budget was adopted with bipartisan approval of the Dutchess County Legislature this evening with more than $20 million in annual tax relief, including the largest property tax decrease in County history, as well as the elimination of sales tax on clothing and footwear items up to $110. Several legislative amendments were made to County Executive Marc Molinaro’s Proposed County Budget to further increase grant program funding, including not-for-profit infrastructure projects, Fire and Safety equipment for local emergency services as well as the popular Learn, Play, Create: Supporting Our Kids grant program.

As previously announced, the 2022 County Budget expands and enhances County services and programs that residents rely on. The budget includes new initiatives addressing mental health and substance use, among others, while continuing critical programs for children, families, seniors and veterans, as well as funding for County parks and other vital programming.

County Executive Molinaro said, “Years of sound, prudent financial planning have positioned Dutchess County for this moment: the adoption of a 2022 County Budget that includes the largest tax relief in history, despite the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought our community over the past two years. I thank the members of the Dutchess County Legislature for their careful consideration of the 2022 budget – a plan that enhances and expands many of the high-caliber programs and services that make our county a recognized leader throughout our state, and I look forward to continued cooperation with legislators in the coming year, as we continue to serve the residents of Dutchess County.”

Dutchess County Legislature Chairman Gregg Pulver said, “This historic budget is a remarkable plan, which provides residents with the most significant tax decrease in our lifetime while safeguarding the highest quality of services on which they’ve come to expect. From an eighth straight property tax levy reduction and seventh consecutive property tax rate decrease, to expanded grant opportunities and boosting programs that serve our most vulnerable, this 2022 budget is the result of a true partnership between this legislative body, County Executive Molinaro and his administration. This will certainly not be the last  unforeseen challenge we face as a community, but this budget continues Dutchess County’s successful path, and I thank my fellow legislators for passing a plan with our residents' best interest at heart.”

Legislative Amendments to the 2022 County Budget include:

  • $1,000,000 increase to the Department of Planning and Development’s Agency Partnership Grant Program (APG) for not-for-profit infrastructure projects.
  • $2,000,000 increase to the Department of Planning and Development’s Municipal Innovation Grant Program (MIG), including:
    • Expanded Fire/Safety grant opportunities focused on one-time equipment and capital investments.
    • Additional grant opportunities for community projects
  • $500,000 increase to the popular Learn, Play, Create grant program to provide opportunities for youth in sports, libraries and arts. 
  • $500,000 increase to the Department of Community & Family Services Youth Services Division focused on youth violence in schools.
  • $50,000 increase to the Department of Community & Family Services to create new competitive grant program to assist destinations with improving access and experience for those with special needs.
  • $50,000 increase to Division of Veterans’ Services to expand the HERO program for housing, employment and events for Dutchess County veterans.
  • $88,000 increase to the Department of Behavioral & Community Health to add two Recovery Coaches.

The above amendments, as well as additional staffing support to the Legislature, were funded with appropriations from the County’s General Fund Balance.  The County’s unassigned fund balance increased more than $3 million to just over $60 million in the 2020 year-end audited financial statement and, because County Executive Molinaro’s proposed budget did not appropriate any fund balance, the amended appropriations will have little impact, keeping Dutchess County’s fiscal foundation solid for the future.

Legislator Will Truitt, Chairman of the Budget, Finance and Personnel Committee, said, “The budget review process is one of the most important – if not the most critical – role any legislator will undertake, and I thank those Legislators whose thoughtful examination these past weeks has resulted in this historic budget. We have again curbed expenses while similarly decreasing the tax burden on Dutchess County residents, which is all the more important given these unparalleled times.

The adoption of the 2022 Dutchess County Budget followed several town hall forums, including a countywide telephone town hall, during which residents had the opportunity to speak with County Executive Molinaro to learn about the details of the budget, ask questions and share their feedback.

The budget, with amendments, will now be forwarded to County Executive Molinaro for review and signature. The final step in the 2022 Dutchess County Budget process – override consideration of any amendment vetoes by the County Executive and the adoption of the tax levy – will be on Monday, Dec. 13th at the Dutchess County Legislature’s Board meeting.

2022 Adopted Budget Key Facts:

  • Property Tax Levy Reduction for the eighth consecutive year, with a historic $5.5 million cut to the property tax levy.
  • Property Tax Rate Reduced more than 10% from $3.18 in 2021 to $2.85 for 2022 per $1,000 of true value assessments.
  • Total 2022 appropriations of $532,679,702
  • 2022 Debt Service held flat, with slight reductions from 2021 and 2020 Adopted Budgets.