Dutchess cautiously optimistic about fiscal health

Jul 13, 2012

Dutchess County, New York government may be starting to see some signs of financial recovery while officials still struggle with the economy. Hudson Valley Correspondent Hank Gross has more…

Recent sales tax income is down two percent, but the hotel/motel room tax is flat and with increases in employee pension and health insurance costs and other state mandated expenses, balancing the budget remains a juggling act.

County Budget Director Valerie Sommerville presented the county legislature with a 2011 year end review and a peak at 2012.

“Our county’s fiscal position certainly not what it was prior to the economic downturn. The economic recovery seems to continue to lag and we continue to have fiscal uncertainties and exposures,” Sommerville told lawmakers on Thursday.

One note of interest: the county has a budget survey on its website and of the more than 1,600 people who have taken it in the several weeks since it was posted, some three-quarters said they would support a seven percent tax increase to maintain services.