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politics

Tax Relief, No Service Reduction Highlight Newly Approved Dutchess Budget

County Executive Marcus Molinaro announced the county's 2017 budget had been adopted.
County Executive Marcus Molinaro announced the county's 2017 budget had been adopted. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman

DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. -- Dutchess County taxpayers will receive a slight reduction in county property taxes, along with no reduction in services or programs under the newly adopted 2017 Dutchess County Budget.

The adopted budget reduces the county property tax levy for the third consecutive year and provides another property tax rate reduction for homeowners and businesses, with no reduction in services or programs.

The budget reduces the county property tax levy by more than $170,000 and lowers the property tax rate for a second straight year from $3.60 to $3.58 per $1,000 of true value assessments.

“This 2017 County Budget is the latest example of our work over the past five years to return fiscal stability to Dutchess County, having overcome serious financial hurdles," said County Executive Marcus Molinaro. "Between reducing the property tax levy for a third straight year and assuring another property tax rate reduction, all while maintaining our core services and expanding others, this budget was formulated with Dutchess County residents in mind."

Legislative amendments to the budget include:

  • $25,000 for a Peer-to-Peer recovery support counselor at the Dutchess County Jail and new Stabilization Center;
  • $100,000 in additional funding for the Office for the Aging to enable the delivery of senior meals 5 days a week, beginning in the second half of 2017;
  • $25,000 in additional support to expand hours of operation at Mental Health America’s Living Room Homeless Day Shelter in the City of Poughkeepsie;
  • $10,000 for education and public outreach funding for well testing and pesticide use;
  • $5,000 for tick removal kits and other educational outreach about tick-borne illness;
  • $5,000 for human rights outreach efforts; and
  • $14,000 to increase stipends for Emergency Response Deputy Coordinators.

The costs of the amendments were offset by corresponding state aid reimbursement and the projected increase in sales tax.

“For more than a month, my colleagues in the Legislature and I poured over the budget proposal, listening to our constituents’ concerns while considering a pact that best serves the residents of Dutchess County. I thank my fellow legislators – particularly those members of the Budget, Finance, and Personnel Committee – for their diligent deliberations to ensure an open process that represented every voice," said Dutchess County Legislature Chairman Dale Borchert.

Budget highlights include:

  • $1.7 million investment in economic development, tourism, arts and agriculture to continue to strengthen the local economy;
  • $15.25 million infrastructure investment for road and bridge repairs and improvements;
  • Expansion of Public Transit services including Sunday service, new route option, and service expansion into City of Poughkeepsie, if city bus services cease;
  • Renaming and rebranding of Dutchess County Airport as Hudson Valley Regional Airport;
  • Dutchess County’s model of restorative justice focused on prevention, intervention, diversion, and transition;
  • Nationally awarded microgreen nutrition program;
  • Opening of the Stabilization Center;
  • Continued efforts to combat opiate and heroin drug addiction and abuse;
  • Expansion of ThinkDIFFERENTLY initiatives, including Project Safe Return and;
  • Expansion of senior services including increased funding for home care and senior meal delivery.

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