City of Poughkeepsie Releases Proposed Budget

POUGHKEEPSIE – City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison announced that, despite considerable fiscal challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, his 2022 preliminary budget stays under the state’s property tax cap, lowers the tax rate, bolsters youth services and maintains other essential city services.

The mayor’s approximately $103 million budget plan, which includes a general fund appropriation of approximately $66 million, goes to the Common Council for review and approval.

Mayor Rolison said, “I want to thank all the City staff who worked tirelessly this budget season. The result is a fiscally responsible budget that accomplishes key objectives while maintaining flexibility in anticipation of our continuing discussion and public engagement throughout the coming year.”

The city has been operating without reserves since at least 2009, making budgeting more difficult than for most municipalities, especially during a pandemic, the mayor noted.

While the city’s overall tax levy will increase by approximately $1 million, the city’s homestead tax rate would drop from $12.51 to $11.51 per $1,000 of assessed value, a decrease of 7.75 percent, and the non-homestead rate would dip from $16.44 to $16.13 per $1,000 of assessed value, a 1.89 percent decrease.

This marks three consecutive budget cycles where sharply rising property values necessitate the city lower the tax rate to keep taxes in check for residents and businesses.

It’s also the fifth straight year the city would stay under the property tax cap.
Sewer rents and water rates would increase by an average of 3.35 percent, less than the current rate of inflation, but the city’s sanitation service would stay at the same rate.

The mayor’s proposed budget also:
• Funds a new Division of Youth Empowerment and Opportunity to nurture and focus on child development in the city — and to enhance the city’s partnerships with the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet and Youth Opportunity Union.
• Makes a $4 million commitment in investments to the city’s parks, a blueprint that includes rebuilding and replacing aging equipment and making major upgrades at these vital green and recreational spaces.
• Calls for the reconstruction of Pulaski Park Pool House and the rehabilitation of the Spratt Park Pool House
• Places some of the Federal American Rescue Plan Act funds in various aspects of the budget, including parks, public safety, public works and youth services, and calls attention to the fact that some of those funds will be used as “revenue replacement” to help close the 2021 budget.
• Creates a $890,000 ARPA funding line for programmatic, youth opportunities and other priorities as set by the Common Council.
• Details that many expense categories —such as personal services, employee benefits and utilities — will be higher next year, and highlights the fact that the most notable increase is the rise in required contributions to the New York State Retirement System for Police and Fire employees.
• Refers to renegotiations that will occur concerning the 2013 sales tax distribution agreement between the cities of Poughkeepsie and Beacon and Dutchess County.
• Announces that Councilperson Chris Petsas of the First Ward is being asked to lead an effort to broadenservices for the city’s senior citizens.

Mayor Rolison also said the city administration will conduct a mid-year analysis in June to consider what other measures might be needed to address the city’s revenues and expenses.

“I want to thank City Administrator Marc Nelson and Finance Commissioner Brian Martinez and their teams for the remarkable job they did in crafting a budget that addresses many of our immediate needs, while at the same time allowing for real flexibility throughout the coming year,” the mayor added.

See the proposed budget and the mayor’s full Budget Message at:

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