Efficiency Plan Outlines $27 Mil in Annual Savings
Predicting $27 million annual savings in three years, Dutchess County Government successfully submitted a comprehensive Government Efficiency Plan
Poughkeepsie, NY – Demonstrating nearly $27 million in annual savings over the next three years, Dutchess County Government, in partnership with 27 local municipalities, has successfully submitted a comprehensive countywide Government Efficiency Plan (GEP) to ensure property tax rebates for County residents in 2016 as part of the New York State Property Tax Freeze Credit program. One hundred and thirty-three (133) efficiency projects are included in the countywide GEP with total savings from 2017-2019 projected to be $80,651,307.
In order for eligible homeowners to receive a property tax rebate check in 2016, municipalities must stay within the NYS property tax cap and implement an approved GEP that projects 1% levy savings for 2017, 2018 and 2019. Dutchess County Government served as the lead entity to develop the countywide GEP submission on behalf of the county and 27 eligible local municipalities that chose to participate in this important initiative. The nearly $27 million annually for each of the three years far exceeds the $2.4 million required to meet the 1% levy savings for all participants combined and clearly demonstrates the successful efforts of the County and local municipalities to share services, consolidate or merge as well as implement operational efficiencies.
“Dutchess County has been a statewide leader in promoting shared services and consolidation, with efforts both within county government and externally in partnership with our local municipalities,” said Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro. “Our focused work is clearly paying off with our total savings exceeding the state’s savings requirement by more than 1000%.”
New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario said, “Under the leadership of Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and the Dutchess County Legislature, the Dutchess County Shared Services Grant program has proven to be a model for municipal innovation programs. By investing in smart, shared services and efficiency programs at the local level, government can best serve the people. I commend the County for leading this important initiative and look forward to sharing its success with other local governments around the state.”
Dutchess County Legislature Majority Leader Angela E. Flesland said, “Dutchess County continues to lead in the effort of shared services. A countywide annual savings of almost $27 million is a much needed win for taxpayers. Long before the State suggested government efficiency efforts, Dutchess was facilitating programs such as our Municipal Consolidation and Shared Services Grant Program. We can and must continue these efforts, and I look forward to Dutchess County staying in the forefront of shared services and consolidation.”
Efficiency projects submitted as part of the GEP include: municipal highway equipment shared services, shared assessor services, consolidation of IT services, solar energy projects, wastewater treatment system upgrades, shared fuel dispensing systems, phone system upgrades, and cooperative agreements between municipalities and the county for workers’ compensation insurance. Projected savings for each participating municipality can be found here: http://www.co.dutchess.ny.us/CountyGov/Departments/CountyExecutive/CE_GEP_Contact_Information_5282015.pdf
Town of Wappinger Supervisor Barbara Gutzler, who also serves as President of the Dutchess County Supervisors and Mayors Association, said, “I’m thrilled the Town of Wappinger worked to formulate a Government Efficiency Plan that will achieve the savings necessary for our residents to receive some of their hard-earned tax dollars back from Albany. I appreciate Dutchess County, County Executive Marc Molinaro and his staff taking the lead in organizing a project that will benefit so many residents. Collaborations like this benefit the Town of Wappinger and others, and they’re great examples of teamwork between governments.”
Many of the municipal efficiency projects were made possible through Dutchess County’s Municipal Consolidation and Shared Services Grant Program (MCSSGP), which enables municipalities to apply for funding to evaluate and implement larger collaboration and consolidation projects. The MCSSGP is unique in the State of New York and demonstrates Dutchess County’s ongoing commitment to finding collaborative ways to enhance efficiency, cut costs and reduce the total cost of government for taxpayers.
Town of Rhinebeck Supervisor Elizabeth Spinzia said, “Projects that the Town of Rhinebeck have implemented through the county’s Municipal Consolidation & Shared Service Grant Program have increased shared services, efficiencies, and collaboration within our Town and with other municipalities. We are grateful to County Executive Molinaro and his staff for their assistance in streamlining the application process.”
The NYS Division of Budget is charged with reviewing all GEPs for compliance with state guidelines. The GEP submission deadline is June 1st. Dutchess County Government began work on the GEP several months ago and has worked closely with both the NYS Division of Budget and local municipalities to craft a comprehensive plan that meets the guidelines of New York State Property Tax Freeze Credit program. Dutchess County Government met the guidelines for eligible homeowners to receive a 2015 property tax rebate check when the County’s 2015 budget was adopted with the largest property tax levy reduction in over a decade, clearly remaining under the mandated state property tax cap.
County Executive Molinaro concluded, “I would like to thank Budget Director Valerie Sommerville and her team for coordinating this effort and working closely with our municipal partners to put together a strong plan that clearly demonstrates how Dutchess County and local governments are going above and beyond in our continued efforts to reduce costs and create new efficiencies in order to better serve our residents and drive down the total cost of government.”