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2023 Dutchess County Budget Adopted
Services, programs expanded and enhanced amid continued tax relief for residents

Published: 12/9/2022

Poughkeepsie … The 2023 County Budget was passed by the Dutchess County Legislature with bipartisan support on Thursday, December 8th by a 18-7 vote, passing a $587.7 million spending plan which includes a 12% property tax rate decrease for 2023, which is the eighth consecutive rate reduction, and the lowest property tax levy in 14 years, marking the ninth straight levy cut. Legislators made several amendments to County Executive Marc Molinaro’s proposed County Budget, further increasing funding for grant programs that benefit children, at-risk youth, families, seniors and those of all abilities; improve public safety; and support law enforcement.

As previously announced, the 2023 County Budget not only enhances and expands current services on which residents rely, but also introduces new offerings, including programs for older adults, veterans, those with substance use and mental health issues, and children and families, in addition to continued investments in public safety, County parks, tourism and the arts.

County Executive Molinaro said, “As we have for more than a decade, this administration and my legislative counterparts have again worked cooperatively to pass a thoughtful budget that not only provides the services that make Dutchess County a model for the state, but does so in the most efficient way possible – continuing our history of tax relief for residents. County taxpayers count on us to be faithful stewards of their hard-earned dollars – to ensure the funds they entrust to us are spent conscientiously – and we remain steadfast in our pledge to return to residents tax dollars whenever possible. This budget continues that trend without compromising the exceptional programming that makes Dutchess County the envy of the state. We maintain our 11-year legacy of being smart with residents’ tax dollars, and I’m proud to ensure a smart, safe fiscal foundation for the future of our county.”

Dutchess County Legislature Chairman Gregg Pulver said, “Dutchess County continues to formulate and adopt annual budgets that take into consideration the needs of our residents, as well as the real-world forces that impact spending. Undaunted, we continue to expand integral services and programs, while continuing to provide meaning tax relief – highlighted by a ninth property tax levy cut in a row and the eighth straight property tax rate reduction. I thank County Executive Molinaro and his administration for its ongoing cooperation, facilitating the Legislature’s budget review process and helping us all produce a 2023 County Budget in which our residents can take pride.”

Legislative Amendments to the 2023 County Budget include:

  • $1.2 million for the Department of Planning and Development’s Competitive Grant Program, including:
    • $1 million for not-for-profit infrastructure grants; and
    • $200,00 for youth programming for at-risk youth ages 14-18, respite and parenting program for parents of children of all abilities;
  • $500,000 increase to the Department of Planning and Development for fire, safety and law enforcement grant opportunities through the Municipal Investment Grant program;
  • $200,000 increase to the Department of Community and Family Services’ Youth Administration Division for the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet;
  • $150,000 for the Office for the Aging to expand community outreach;
  • $60,000 for the Department of Public Works’ Public Transit Division to construct an additional bus shelter;
  • $50,000 for the Department of Emergency Response to improve public internet access at local libraries and municipal buildings;
  • $50,000 for the Department of Community and Family Services’ Youth Services Division for a “Path to Promise” grant program to fund all-abilities recreation programs;
  • $50,000 for the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office to increase recruitment and equipment for the Law Enforcement Academy;
  • $25,000 for the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office for the Dutchess County SPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement Program; and
  • $4,000 for the Department of Behavioral and Community Health’s Environmental Division to increase feral cat spaying initiative.

The above amendments were funded with appropriations from the County’s General Fund Balance.

Additionally, to fund much-needed improvements at Dutchess Stadium that had been discussed earlier this year, this budget utilizes an appropriation of fund balance of $25 million to achieve savings on the project. Taking the opportunity to move the requested funds into the 2023 County Budget through an amendment, rather than bonding for the cost of the project, saves approximately $11 million in interest costs.

Legislator Mike Polasek, chairman of the Budget, Finance, and Personnel Committee, said, “The task of reviewing the County’s budget for the upcoming year offers each legislator the opportunity to scrutinize how their constituents’ tax dollars will be utilized. I thank my colleagues for their thoughtful consideration over the past five weeks, culminating in the adoption of the 2023 County Budget. Dutchess County’s successful record of prudent spending practices have again resulted in tax relief for our residents, who can be assured their Legislature and administration remain diligent custodians of the hard-earned dollars they entrust to us.”

The adoption of the 2023 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 2023 Dutchess County Budget process, override consideration of any amendment vetoes by the County Executive and the adoption of the tax levy, will take place on Thursday, Dec. 15th at the Dutchess County Legislature’s Board meeting.