For More Information Contact:
Michael A. Ellison (845) 486-2103
“With no vetoes from the Executive and adoption today of the zero percent increase tax levy the 2011 Dutchess County budget process has come to a close. It is a bittersweet ending to a grueling, yet well-organized budget process that was chockfull of tough fiscal decisions that included the unfortunate elimination of certain County programs, services, and positions.
Chief among the priorities was not to increase the property tax burden on the businesses and families that call Dutchess County home. This effort by both the Executive and a majority of the Legislature should be commended since it is reflective of the mood and needs of the people we are elected to represent. Year after year property taxes increase whether they are school, local, or state and at some point people have to say enough is enough.
While holding the line on the tax levy this Legislature was also able to restore funding for some programs, services, and positions it deemed vital to the core mission of County government. As we move forward I will continue to encourage legislators to constantly evaluate the various County departments, agencies, and contracts in search of bold, innovative ways to make them run more effectively and efficiently.
Allow me take a moment to praise the legislative leaders – Gary Cooper, Angela Flesland, Sandy Goldberg, and Dan Kuffner – for conducting the people’s business through the contentious budget process as well as throughout the year in a professional and courteous manner. We may not always agree, but it should be reassuring to the public that the dialogues and conversations on the issues important to Dutchess County citizens are and will continue to happen. Finally, the Legislature and I welcome partnership with the fiscal steward of Dutchess County – Executive Bill Steinhaus. As the challenges of 2011 present themselves we, as a collective government, will have to work together to meet those challenges, operate within a tight budget, and undoubtedly make more difficult financial decisions so that County government can live within its means.”