Dutchess County, NY sent this bulletin at 12/03/2020 08:46 PM EST
2021 Dutchess County Budget Adopted
Reduced Spending, No Layoffs and No Property Tax Increase
Poughkeepsie, NY… The 2021 Dutchess County Budget was adopted by the Dutchess County Legislature Thursday evening with several small amendments to County Executive Marc Molinaro’s Proposed County Budget. Despite continued challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, including uncertain revenues, the 2021 budget reduces County spending, with no layoffs and no increase to property taxes.
The 2021 County Budget maintains County services and programs, with new initiatives addressing homelessness and housing, youth services, and police reform, as well as continued funding for senior services, mental health, infrastructure improvements, County parks and other critical services. The budget also includes critical staffing and other resources for the continued battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
County Executive Molinaro said, “2020 has been one of the most challenging years in history, but we could not have been more prepared financially for these unprecedented times. Fortunately, here in Dutchess County, our long-established conservative fiscal approach has allowed us to produce a 2021 budget with no tax increase, no layoffs and reduced spending. I am grateful to the Dutchess County Legislature for their deliberation and support of the 2021 budget, which continues to provide important services to our most vulnerable neighbors while finding new, innovative ways to confront the challenges we all face and solving problems, as we always have, together.”
Dutchess County Legislature Chairman Gregg Pulver said, “The 2021 budget provides important investments to combat homelessness, to support youth and families, important trainings and technology for law enforcement, and continued support for economic development, including tourism and the arts, as well as our county’s agriculture industry. Through a truly collaborative process between County Executive Molinaro, his administration and my fellow legislators, we have delivered a fiscally responsible budget that ensures we can face the challenges ahead, without cutting the important services Dutchess County residents have come to expect.”
Legislative Amendments to the 2021 County Budget include:
• $350,000 increase to the Department of Planning and Development’s Agency Partnership Grant Program (APG), including:
o $50,000 for a library technology component of Dutchess Reads, and
o $300,000 for youth and community services
• $210,000 increase to the Dept. of Community & Family Services (DCFS), including:
o $85,000 for DART Program Training, and
o $125,000 for additional contracted security services at Family Services, Inc.
• $10,112 increase to the Sheriff’s Office to restore funding to the Dutchess County SPCA to the 2020 level
• $7,500 increase to the Board of Elections to provide additional poll site support for early voting
• $150,000 decrease to the County’s Serial Bonds for interest on an unneeded short-term loan
• $287,112 decrease to the Dutchess County Jail for inmate health services following a renegotiated vendor contract due to lower inmate counts at the Jail.
Amendments were funded by decreases to the County’s projected interest requirements for serial bonds, reductions in contingency funding and a renegotiated contract for Dutchess County Jail inmate health services, as a result of a decrease in the inmate population.
Legislator Will Truitt, Chairman of the Budget, Finance and Personnel Committee, said, “I thank my legislative colleagues for making this budget process swift and efficient. Thanks to their dedication and support, we have passed a budget that controls spending and maintains essential services and programs while not passing the burden on to Dutchess County taxpayers.”
County Executive Molinaro said, “As we work together to face the challenges left in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this budget allows us to provide the support and services to our residents without adding any taxpayer burden. I am particularly grateful to our dedicated County employees – while there is much work ahead, every one of them is ready to rise to the challenge with their continued commitment to public service. Together with the County Legislature, we share a vision of a strong Dutchess County community that will overcome this pandemic and be stronger for the challenge.”
The adoption of the 2021 Dutchess County Budget followed several virtual public forums, including a countywide telephone town hall, during which residents had the opportunity to speak with County Executive Molinaro to learn about the details of the budget, ask questions and share their feedback.
The budget, with amendments, will now be forwarded to County Executive Molinaro for review and signature. The final step in the 2021 Dutchess County Budget process – override consideration of any amendment vetoes by the County Executive and the adoption of the tax levy – will be on Monday, Dec. 14th at the Dutchess County Legislature’s Board meeting.
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2021 Adopted Budget Key Facts:
• Property Tax Levy Reduction for the seventh consecutive year
• Property Tax Rate Reduced from $3.26 to $3.18 per $1,000 of true value assessments
• Total 2021 appropriations of $501,832,097