Says surplus will be essential to ‘restart’
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro on May 4 said that the county ended 2019 with a surplus behind a 4.6 percent increase in sales tax revenue.
The Annual Financial Report that the county submitted to the state showed 2019 revenues of $472.6 million, while expenses were $471.2 million, for a surplus of $1.4 million. Revenues included a $9.1 million increase in sales tax revenue. State aid also rose by $8.7 million, which included a one-time increase in the county’s foster care block grant.
Rising expenses included $1.7 million in sales tax revenue shared with municipalities; $1.8 million in funding for Dutchess Community College; $2.7 million increase for state-mandated preschool special education; $7.6 million for union contract settlements, positions, benefits and debt service; and $3 million for mandated family assistance and safety net costs.
The report can be downloaded at bit.ly/dutchess-report.
Molinaro said that in response to COVID-19, Dutchess has suspended hiring for open positions, postponed non-essential travel and training and delayed all spending deemed “non-essential.” He said the county is keeping an eye on what the state may be able to provide in aid because it accounts for 16 percent of the 2020-21 Dutchess budget.
He said the county is lobbying the federal government to provide support for counties with fewer than 500,000 residents and has formed a fiscal/financial team to focus on local economic impacts.