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Poughkeepsie...The 2015 Dutchess County Budget was adopted last night in 19-6 bipartisan vote by the Dutchess County Legislature. The adopted budget, with few amendments to Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro’s Tentative County Budget, ensures Dutchess County moves forward with largest property tax levy reduction in over a decade, property tax rebate checks for homeowners paid for by New York State, continued spending reduction and targeted investment in business attraction, tourism promotion and infrastructure investment.
County Executive Molinaro said, “The work accomplished together over these three years has helped us overcome significant fiscal challenges and reestablish financial stability. Most importantly, though, we are providing tax relief to our residents while maintaining the services they count on. This county budget, as well as our recently upgraded Standard & Poor’s AA+ bond rating, reflects our good fiscal stewardship and hard work. I am grateful to the members of Dutchess County Legislature for their support and look forward to our continued work together.”
2015 Budget Highlights include:
Legislative amendments to the 2015 County Budget included $75,000 in additional funding for Family Services to support the 24/7 Rape Crisis Advocacy (RCA), a component of the Crime Victims Assistance Program (CVAP). The program would fall under the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office purview and Family Services would administer the program. $25,000 in additional funding was directed to the Dutchess County Soil & Water Conservation District in support of its work providing technical assistance as well as education on soil, water and related natural resources to municipalities, farmers, landowners and others.
Dutchess County Legislature Chairman Rob Rolison said, “The adopted 2015 County Budget reflects the time invested through the participation and input from those involved to deliver a budget that delivers efficient and effective county services. I am pleased with the bipartisan support for the 2015 County budget and I would like to thank the County Executive and his administration, our county department heads, legislators especially the members of the Budget, Finance, and Personnel Committee for their engagement throughout the process. Together, we can all be proud of the sound, balanced budget that sets us in good financial footing for 2015 as we move Dutchess County forward.”
County Executive Molinaro noted, “We continue to transform County Government making it smaller, smarter and more effective. We have produced tangible results in the 2015 county budget including cost reductions and programming improvements for the Dutchess County Jail with the installation of temporary housing units, merger of the Departments of Health & Mental Hygiene to provide an integrated, comprehensive approach to public and behavioral health services, continued inventive to share services and consolidate county and local government and much more. There is always more work to be done, and together we are moving Dutchess County forward.”
Dutchess County Legislator April Marie Farley, who represents District 18 – City of Beacon/Fishkill, said, “I can appreciate the balance this budget has. In order to provide funding for important programs to help our seniors, our youth, and those with mental illness, we must grow our economy to have revenues available to pay those programs. That is why the additional funding for tourism is so important for Beacon and for the entire county. We have seen the positive impact in Beacon – small businesses opening that then hire young people to work, people coming up to see our arts, our natural beauty, then want to buy a home and invest in our community. It is important that people to understand that the budget is for everyone and we can be the change that you want to see.” She continued, “We can work together, we can create amendments, we can create solutions, so that is why I support this budget.”
The adoption of the 2015 Dutchess County budget followed several town hall forums, including a countywide tele-town hall, where residents had the opportunity to learn about the details of the budget, ask questions and share their feedback. A final town hall forum about the budget will be held on Monday, December 8th at 6pm East Fishkill Town Hall located at 330 Route 376, Hopewell Junction. The final vote on the 2015 Dutchess County Budget – the adoption of the tax levy – will be on Monday, December 15th at the Dutchess County Legislature’s Board meeting.