POUGHKEEPSIE – Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro released his $528 million dollar budget on Wednesday, in advance of the November 1 deadline.
The spending plan calls for a 10 percent property tax decrease and a $5.5 million tax levy cut, the executive said.
“We will make a massive investment in the services people care about, hold the line on spending – average annual increase 1.3 percent – and still provide nearly $20 million in tax relief to taxpayers,” he said.
Without using money from the county’s fund balance, Molinaro intends to eliminate the county sales tax on clothing and footwear purchases up to $110, provide funding to support the purchase of a Mobile Community Health Clinic, and dedicates $30 million for an Emergency Response Communications System.
“Years of sound fiscal planning have put Dutchess County in the enviable position of being able to reduce taxes so that residents can keep their hard-earned money,” Molinaro said. “We have the ability to reduce the tax burden on residents, and that’s what my 2022 Executive Budget does – providing historic tax relief while keeping the unparalleled level of service our community deserves.”
The budget includes the eighth consecutive property tax reduction and provides the seventh straight property tax rate decrease for homeowners and businesses. The 2022 property tax levy, the amount the county collects in property taxes, is proposed at $99.8 million, $5.5 million less than the 2021 levy, representing the largest decrease in county history, according to Molinaro’s budget office. The tax rate, which is calculated by dividing the property tax levy by full value assessments, will decrease by more than 10 percent from $3.18 to $2.85 per $1,000 of true value assessments as a result of the tax levy reduction, as well as the continued growth in true value assessments (tax base). The county’s tax base has increased over the last seven years to $35 billion in 2022.
Total 2022 appropriations in Molinaro’s Executive Budget equal $528.4 million. Dutchess County has seen revenues rebound strongly in 2021, despite the initial economic impact in 2020 of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sales tax receipts are well exceeding original projections year-to-date, according to Molinaro. The rebound of this revenue stream has enabled the county to fill many of the positions that had been held vacant in the past year and restore full position funding in his proposed spending plan.
In addition to enhancements to mental health and veterans programs, the budget includes:
- $24 million investment in the Capital Plan and operation budget for critical maintenance of County roads and bridges, including snow removal on 9,000 miles of local roadways;
- $21.3 million investment in Dutchess Community College, including the “Think Ahead” program, and the new Aviation Management, Maintenance, Airframe and Powerplant Technician programs;
- $5.3 million increase to the Department of Behavioral and Community Health, compared to the 2021 adopted budget;
- $3.9 million in domestic violence prevention services;
- $3.5 million in Agency Partner Grant program funding, including the aforementioned $500,000 Learn, Play, Create: Supporting Our Kids expansion;
- $1 million for new fire and rescue grant opportunity for first responders;
- $100,000 to build much-needed system capacity in the home healthcare field to address the home health care worker shortage;
- A pilot program to offer safe and simple at-home prescription drug disposal for seniors;
- Continued investment in Dutchess County Parks, including an increase in park maintenance resources to keep up with rapid growth;
- 80 percent increase in funding for Adult Day Care;
- 34 percent increase in funding for the arts, including sensory-sensitive events, capital and capacity, and art education; and
- 10 percent increase in tourism funding.
The budget documents are available online at dutchessny.gov/2022budget.