Property tax rate falls by 10 percent

The Dutchess County Legislature approved a $533 million budget for 2022 on Thursday (Dec. 2) that contains a 10 percent reduction in the property tax rate and the elimination of taxes on up to $110 in spending on clothing and shoes.

The county’s property tax rate will fall to $2.85 for each $1,000 of assessed value, from $3.13. An owner of a property valued at $300,000 will save $84 annually.

With an assist from the federal American Rescue Plan, enacted in March, the budget refills some of the positions temporarily eliminated or left vacant when 152 employees took early retirement or severance last year, saving the county about $11 million amid the pandemic shutdown.

Of the 96 positions, 18 were restored using some of the $57 million in funding Dutchess is receiving from the American Rescue Plan. Dutchess will use $1.8 million of the ARP funding to fill 21 positions over the next three years. An additional 38 of the eliminated positions would also be refilled in 2022, according to budget documents.

New positions include three crisis counselors for the county’s help line, an assistant district attorney, a senior assistant public defender, two alternatives-to-incarceration workers in the Public Defenders’ Office, two sheriff’s deputies and three parks maintenance workers.

The budget also appropriates funding for three grant programs: $4.5 million for nonprofit infrastructure projects; $4 million for projects by municipalities and school, fire, sewer and water districts; and $1 million for nonprofit youth programs.

Behind The Story

Type: News

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

The Peekskill resident is a former reporter for the Times Herald-Record in Middletown, where he covered Sullivan County and later Newburgh. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Morgan State University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. Location: Cold Spring. Languages: English. Area of Expertise: General.