Molinaro’s proposed budget reduces county taxes

Marcus Molinaro
A press release from the County Executive, re-printed here with but slight edits

Poughkeepsie, October 20, 201: Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced this morning that his 2016 Executive Budget, to be released on October 28th, will include the first property tax rate decrease in eight years, as well as a continued reduction in the property tax levy. The County Executive made the announcement at the Dutchess County Association of Realtors 2015 Annual Meeting & Governmental Affairs Breakfast at Dutchess Golf Club in Poughkeepsie. County Executive Molinaro will present his 2016 Executive Budget proposal on Wednesday, October 28th in advance of the November 1st deadline required by the Dutchess County Administrative Code.

County Executive Molinaro said, “Through a disciplined approach to financial management, focus on the smart delivery of core county services, partnership with local governments and community partners we are addressing the needs of our residents and providing the second consecutive tax levy reduction and first cut in the county tax rate in eight years.”

This will be the second consecutive year of reduction in the County’s property tax levy.  County Executive Molinaro’s 2015 county budget, which was adopted with bipartisan support by the Dutchess County Legislature, included the largest property tax levy reduction in more than a decade. That property tax levy reduction kept Dutchess County under the New York State (NYS) property tax cap and ensured eligible homeowners receive the 2015 NYS Property Tax Freeze Credit rebate check, which are expected to be mailed this fall.  

County Executive Molinaro’s committed focus on shared services and consolidation, efficiency measures and aggressive efforts to capitalize on grants and other funding resources have resulted in continued spending reductions in the 2016 Executive Budget.

The New York State Division of Budget recently approved Dutchess County’s Government Efficiency (GEP) Plan, which included county government and 27 local municipalities. The submitted GEP plan demonstrates $27 million in annual savings for a three year period (2017-2019). The approved GEP combined with the proposed 2016 property tax reduction guarantees homeowners will receive the New York State property tax rebate again in fall of 2016.

Among other spending reductions to be included in the 2016 Executive Budget which have already been announced, an LED lighting upgrade initiative, funded through an incentive program administered by Central Hudson, combined with other energy efficiencies and an improving energy market rates, contribute to an overall reduction in electric costs of more than $190,000, compared to this year.

Also previously announced, the 2016 Executive Budget will also complete the merger of the Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene – creating the new Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) to provide a more holistic health and behavioral health care system focused on prevention, intervention and diversion.  The DBCH component of the 2016 Executive Budget is expected to show a net county cost reduction of $400,000, with enhanced service offerings for the public. 

Actual impact of the property tax levy and tax rate decrease on an individual tax bill can vary from town to town based on local assessments and state equalization rates, both factors beyond the county’s control. Dutchess County government’s property tax levy represents less than 13% of the property taxes collected countywide, the remainder of which is comprised of school taxes, municipal (city, town or village) property taxes and special district taxes (i.e. fire).

Molinaro will present his 2016 Executive Budget proposal on Wednesday, October 28th at Marist College’s Fusco Recital Hall. The budget will be available for review on the County’s website dutchessny.gov. The County Executive will also host a countywide tele-town hall forum at 7p.m. on October 28th so residents to learn about the components of the county budget, ask questions and share feedback.