On Monday December 13, what's being referred to as a historic Dutchess County budget, was officially signed by County Executive Marc Molinaro.

The budget includes the largest property tax decrease in Dutchess County history, including a $5.5 million cut to the property tax levy, and a property tax rate decrease of more than 10%, as well as the elimination of sales tax on clothing and footwear items priced up to $110.

The budget also addresses the expansion and enhancement of County services and critical programs for children, families, seniors and veterans, and even introduces some new initiatives focusing on mental health, substance use, youth violence prevention, and veterans services.  It also contains funding for County parks and other vital programs.

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County Executive Molinaro initially released the budget back in October at the Hudson Valley Regional Airport's Dutchess Community College Aviation Center, indicating the plans for more than $20 million in annual tax relief, the county sales tax changes and the programming funding.  This was followed by a number of town hall forums and even a countywide telephone town hall where residents were able to ask questions and provide feedback about the proposed budget.

The budget was adopted with bipartisan approval on December 2nd, with a number of legislative amendments made to the initial budget that County Executive Molinaro had proposed.  These amendments include a increase in grant program funding, fire and safety equipment for local emergency services, and the grant program Learn, Play, Create:  Supporting our Kids.

You can learn more about the budget, including tax decreases and program funding through the Dutchess County Government site, here.

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