For More Information Contact:
Michael A. Ellison (845) 486-2103
Legislator Dale Borchert (R-LaGrange), Chairman of the Budget, Finance, and Personnel Committee, today reminded residents and businesses that the upcoming 2011 budget will be difficult to say the least.
"Every option that might ease the tax burdens of local residents and businesses while pushing the County budget toward solvency must be explored,” said Borchert. “The budget process is not going to get any easier as demands for County services increase but the revenues to support those services decrease. We can expect that there will be a significant revenue shortfall in 2011.”
Already this year the County budget is in the red painting a bleak fiscal picture for next year, points out Borchert. The 2010 spending plan relied upon the use of $14 million in fund balance to make ends meet. "We just don't have another $14 million to put into next year's budget," said Borchert. "That's a $14 million we can’t count on to bail County finances out of trouble next year. To close these gaps the Legislature and County Executive must work together to find new, innovative ways to make up for lost revenue without raising taxes.”
Borchert explains that the Dutchess County Legislature has taken an early start in preparing for the 2011 budget cycle and during its regular August Board meeting it adopted an election cost sharing formula with municipalities and voted to offer an early retirement incentive for eligible county employees. Both these proposals could yield savings to County taxpayers and help alleviate some of the tax burden.
“Trimming back on the number of election districts and employees can help save money. The question will be, is it enough? We are not starting the 2011 process in a great position. While I have great faith in the 19 years of experience that the County Executive's team brings to the table, I remain concerned that there just won't be enough revenue to work with. Bottom line is we need to do more to make up for lost revenues,” concluded Borchert.
The 2011 proposed budget is delivered to the Legislature by November 1st of each year. The Legislature must adopt the budget on or before December 10th. Borchert and his Budget, Finance, and Personnel Committee have communicated with the County Executive’s office in hopes of scheduling a meeting soon to discuss the 2011 budget.