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County Officials Meet with Mayors and Supervisors to Discuss Shared Services and Tax Stabilization Opportunities

Published: 5/10/2016

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Colleen Pillus

Poughkeepsie…Applications for Dutchess County’s 2016 Municipal Consolidation & Shared Services Grant Program (MCSSGP) are now being accepted from local municipalities.    Last week, Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro announced a one-time supplement to the MCSSGP which will provide additional funding for projects that reduce and/or minimize the property tax levy imposed on residents.   Staff from the Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development attended last week’s monthly meeting of the Dutchess County Supervisors and Mayors Association to participate in a roundtable discussion to brainstorm shared services and consolidation opportunities.

County Executive Molinaro said, “Our Municipal Consolidation and Shared Services Grant Program has started important conversations among local communities about working together to provide better services and save taxpayer dollars. This year, we can further incentivize municipalities to save tax dollars with a special supplement to the MCSSGP to fund projects that would have been out of reach for them and still remain under the tax cap.   We hope many municipalities take advantage of this opportunity and deliver tax savings to their residents.”

The Municipal Consolidation & Shared Services Grant Program incentivizes municipal projects that provide greater efficiencies or reduce the total cost of local government through the consolidation of services, creation of shared services, elimination of an entire government entity, establishment of the regional delivery of services, and/or increased efficiencies.   Applications are currently being accepted and must be submitted by 12:00pm on June 17th with award announcements expected in September.

The one-time supplement to the MCSSGP, known as the Property Tax Relief Grant, will award funding to critical capital projects that can result in meaningful savings to aid local municipal efforts to reduce and/or minimize the property tax levy imposed on residents.   The larger the proposed savings, as measured over a five-year period, the higher the priority.  Grant awards will be a maximum of $250,000 and minimum of $20,000, and there is no local match requirement.  Applications for the Property Tax Relief Grant must be submitted by July 1st with award announcements also expected in September.

At the Supervisors and Mayors Association meeting, municipal officials discussed the needs of their communities and their hopes for obtaining long-term financial stability under the restrictions of the property tax cap.    Some of the areas of concern included the rising cost of health insurance, the need to address emergency services, failing water and sewer infrastructure, dilapidated highway garages, and struggles with road maintenance.   The discussion also included opportunities for future shared services and efficiencies.

Dutchess County Community Development Administrator Anne Saylor said, “It was encouraging to see the wide range of items that were touched on during the discussion.   Communities discussed modernizing and sharing financial software, IT infrastructure and services, performance management systems, and reviewing current operations, as well as sharing items like equipment and salt sheds.  In addition to providing funding, the County wants to provide technical assistance and support to communities so they can successfully implement these projects.”

According to Aileen Rohr, Supervisor of the Town of Hyde Park and President of the Supervisors and Mayors Association, “County Executive Molinaro’s supplement to the MCSSGP is an important opportunity for municipalities to apply for funding to address a critical need to achieve the dual goal of controlling taxes and providing quality services. Hyde Park has been aggressive in taking advantage of this grant program since County Executive Molinaro launched it in 2013 and we are particularly eager to take part in this special supplement opportunity.”

More information about the MCSSGP and the special supplement, including the application, can be found on Dutchess County’s website at: