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Dutchess County Countywide Government Efficiency Plan Approved By New York State

Published: 10/15/2015

For More Information Contact:

Colleen Pillus

Poughkeepsie… The New York State Division of Budget has approved Dutchess County’s Government Efficiency Plan (GEP), ensuring property tax rebates for County residents in 2016 as part of the New York State Property Tax Freeze Credit program.    The County, in partnership with 27 local municipalities, had submitted a GEP demonstrating nearly $27 million in annual savings earlier this year.  

The New York State Property Tax Freeze Credit Program is a three-year, $1.5 billion program which provides rebate checks to homeowners for growth in property taxes.    In the first year, homeowners received a rebate check if their local school district remained under the property tax cap.    In 2015, homeowners can receive refunds for both school and municipal government property taxes if each was under the tax cap.     Eligible Dutchess County homeowners can expect their 2015 rebate check this fall since Dutchess County Government met the guidelines for the rebate when the County’s 2015 budget was adopted with the largest property tax levy reduction in over a decade.

In order for homeowners to receive a property tax rebate check in 2016, municipalities must implement an approved GEP that projects 1% levy savings for 2017, 2018 and 2019 and adopt a 2016 budget under the NYS property tax cap. With the state’s approval of the Dutchess County’s GEP, the County and 27 municipalities have met the first of the two requirements.

Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro will be releasing the 2016 Tentative County Budget on October 28th with no increase to the property tax levy, therefore meeting the second requirement and ensuring homeowners will again receive a rebate in the fall of 2016.

“Dutchess County has been a statewide leader in promoting shared services and consolidation, with efforts both within county government and in partnership with our local municipalities,” said County Executive Molinaro.  “Our focused work is clearly paying off as our GEP, which far exceeded New York State’s threshold, has been approved and we have guaranteed homeowners a property tax rebate check for the second consecutive year.”

Dutchess County Government served as the lead entity to develop the countywide GEP submission on behalf of the county and 27 eligible local municipalities that chose to participate in this important initiative. The approved GEP far exceeds the $2.4 million required to meet the 1% levy savings for all participants combined and clearly demonstrates the successful efforts of the County and local municipalities to share services, consolidate or merge as well as implement operational efficiencies.

Efficiency projects submitted as part of the GEP included: municipal highway equipment shared services, shared assessor services, consolidation of IT services, solar energy projects, wastewater treatment system upgrades, shared fuel dispensing systems, phone system upgrades, and cooperative agreements between municipalities and the county for workers’ compensation insurance.   

Many of the municipal efficiency projects were made possible through Dutchess County’s Municipal Consolidation and Shared Services Grant Program (MCSSGP), which enables municipalities to apply for funding to evaluate and implement larger collaboration and consolidation projects.   The MCSSGP is unique in the State of New York and demonstrates Dutchess County’s ongoing commitment to finding collaborative ways to enhance efficiency, cut costs and reduce the total cost of government for taxpayers.

Projected savings for each participating municipality can be found here.