DUTCHESS COUNTY ADOPTED BUDGET
MARCUS J. MOLINARO
Dutchess County Executive
2020 has been one of the most challenging years in history. Fortunately, here in Dutchess County, we have a long established conservative fiscal approach, which allowed us to produce a 2021 budget with no tax increase, no layoffs, and reduced spending. Learn more below about my 2021 budget proposal, including reduced property taxes, expense highlights, key budget initiatives, revenue summaries, and how you can join the conversation. We know there will be challenges, but we will work, serve, and persevere, as we always have: Together.
what you need to know:
2021 Adopted Budget Includes:
Consecutive Tax Cut
Tax Levy History
The County’s tax base has increased over the last five years to $33.2 Billion in 2021 as we have focused on economic development and growing jobs. Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dutchess County experienced 29 consecutive months of private-sector job growth; had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state; and more than $4.7 billion in construction projects were underway and in development.
Percentage Change in True Value Assessments
True Value Assessments
Average Tax Bill:
For the sixth consecutive year, the 2021 budget reduces the County property tax rate and levy, providing a 2.5% average tax rate reduction for residents. County property taxes only make up 11% of the average homeowner’s tax bill with local municipal, fire, school, and special districts accounting for the other 89%.
2021 Adopted Budget Includes:
spending cut vs. 2020 modified budget
2020 has been one of the most challenging years in history because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its ongoing impacts mean we have many challenges that will continue into 2021. We have cut spending, held the line for property taxpayers, and shrunk the County workforce with no layoffs.
The 2021 spending plan includes reductions in a number of areas including salaries and wages (down $9M), supplies (down $2.2M), contracted services (down $3.7M), and the interfund transfer to support public transit (down $2M). With more than 150 employees taking advantage of our Employee Retirement and Separation Incentive Program in 2020, our County workforce will be smaller in 2021 as we eliminate some of these positions and leave others vacant for the year, providing an estimated $11 million in savings.
Spending by Budget Area
Salaries and benefits account for almost 40% of the total 2021 proposed expenses as County employees provide countless services and programs directly to residents. Additionally, State and Federal Mandates dominate the budget with net to county costs for programs like Medicaid, Institution and Foster Care placements for children, Safety Net, Preschool Special Education, Early Intervention Programs, and more.
change in spending by area (millions $)
|Budget Area||2020 Modified Budget||2021 Adopted Budget||$ Change|
2021 Adopted Budget
Investing in our children and families, the 2021 budget includes a new Youth Advocate Program, pre-school readiness support for parents, training high-quality day care providers, and a commitment to future development of a youth opportunity center in the City of Poughkeepsie. Learn more in the budget.
As we work together with the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office, local police agencies, and our community on Dutchess County’s Police Reform Initiative, we include in the budget funding for procedural justice, implicit bias, and crisis intervention training for officers. We also continue to invest in on-demand community mental health services, medication-assisted treatment, and our 24/7 mental health HELPLINE. Learn more in the budget.
5 New Positions
As we continue to fight COVID-19, the budget includes additional temporary resources for contact tracing and support of local businesses, schools and health care institutions.
As part of the 2021-2025 capital plan and operating budget, the County will invest over $24M in our roads and bridges, including 9,000 miles of snow removal.
Dutchess County continues its commitment to our park system as plans are developed for a new urban rail trail, access to the recently acquired Lake Walton Preserve in East Fishkill, and improvements at Quiet Cove Riverfront Park.
The County is engaged in several remediation projects and climate initiatives throughout our community to revitalize properties, cleaning environmental hazards, and confronting climate change. The Partnership for Manageable Growth program will preserve 746 acres in 2021.
Our popular expanded senior home-delivered meals program offers residents vital support and nutrition during this challenging time. The 2021 budget continues these efforts.
2021 Adopted Budget Includes:
in taxes or fees
Development of the 2021 Executive Budget presented challenges due to the high level of uncertainty surrounding the County’s three largest revenue sources: State Aid, Federal Aid, and Sales Tax. Together, these three funding streams support almost 70% of the County’s programs and services.
While state and local governments await a final determination regarding Federal Aid for municipalities, New York State has expressed their fiscal challenges may result in cuts to counties in both 2020 and 2021. Fortunately, here in Dutchess County, we have long established a conservative fiscal approach, including building a strong financial foundation, that allows us to adapt to changing economic circumstances. If state aid is significantly reduced, the County will need to take further action to mitigate the impact.
change in revenue by type (millions $)
|Revenue Type||2020 Modified Budget||2021 Tentative Budget||$ Change|
|Property Tax (Net)*||$104.3||$104.3||$0.0|
|Sales & Hotel Tax||$211.1||$205.0||($-6.1)|
|State & Federal Aid||$128.0||$127.1||($-0.9)|
|Use of Fund Balance||$22.6||$12.5||($-10.1)|