POUGHKEEPSIE – A year ago, Poughkeepsie Mayor Robert Rolison presented a budget that would hike city taxes by close to 17 percent.
It is a much different story this year.
“I am happy to report that the budget has been submitted to the council for your review,” said the mayor. “We are under the tax cap, which we believe is significant benefit to all of us.”
Rolison did not give specifics on the numbers, but said they are putting top priority on public works, and on quality of life.
“We are looking at increased funding for youth and the athletic funding that we have; we’ve increased that by 50 percent to $100,000 in Parks and Recreation.”
Rolison said this is the second budget in a multi-year budget approach.
The budget got a quick endorsement from Council Chairwoman Natasha Cherry.
“It meant a lot to me that you wanted some input from me and I can say I’ll give the public to review the budget themselves, that I’m supportive of this budget and I thank you for the hard work that you’ve been doing,” Cherry said.
Rolison thanked, in particular, council members and department head,
including Finance Commissioner Marc Nelson, who is now the new City Administrator,
following confirmation Monday night.
The mayor, who assumed the city’s top job with a $13 million deficit, has been able to reduce it to $11.9 million and he declared last week that the city’s financial condition has improved and will continue to do so. Last year alone, Rolison said Poughkeepsie ended the year with an $874,000 budget surplus.