Dutchess comptroller supports county executive’s 2017 budget

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POUGHKEEPSIE – Dutchess County Comptroller James Coughlan Friday
gave County Executive Marcus Molinaro good grades for his proposed $467
million county budget for next year.

Lowering the tax levy for the third year in a row continues the county’s
“commitment to reduce the burden on taxpayers while maintaining
key services,” said Coughlan. He termed the budget “smart”
with “new initiatives.”
The comptroller said the spending plan, which includes a reduction in
debt service by $1.7 million compared to 2016 by using county cash-on-hand,
will save the county interest and bond issuing costs to fund 2017 capital
projects.

The use of $8.75 million of general fund balance and $3.5 million from
the taxpayer protected funds will provide tax relief while maintaining
the fiscal stability of the county. “Even with the use of these
funds, the county will still be able to maintain fund balance at 10 percent
of our general operating fund, which is recommended by the state comptroller
and external auditors,” Coughlan said.

He cautioned, though, that the county “needs to remain vigilant
in maintaining reserves to provide the necessary flexibility to weather
any unexpected variables throughout the year.”