STATE AND COUNTY OFFICIALS ANNOUNCE $5.25 MILLION FOR REPEAL OF DUTCHESS ENERGY TAX

 

    Poughkeepsie, N.Y. – 04/02/2014 – Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson), Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D-Hudson), Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro and other officials announced $5.25 million in the New York State 2014-2015 Budget that will enable Dutchess County to repeal the recently enacted energy tax.

    The local tax, which took effect on March 1, 2014, imposed a 3.75 percent sales tax on all residential energy sources, including electricity and fuel oil to balance the Dutchess County budget.

    The state’s 2014- 2015 budget agreement includes $5.25 million of funding for Dutchess County to offset state mandate costs, which could enable for the repeal of the energy tax. The funding comes from three unique areas of need for Dutchess County. $3.5 million was allotted for services and expenses of Dutchess County, $1.4 million was allotted for services and expenses of the Dutchess County Coordinated Jail Based Services and $350,000 was allotted to help offset the closure of the Hudson River Psychiatric Center (HRPC).

    State Officials:

    Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) said: “I was happy to work in a bipartisan fashion with County Executive Molinaro, Assemblywoman Didi Barrett and other local elected officials to secure this critical state funding that will now enable Dutchess County to repeal this local energy tax. As always, the devil will be in the details, but I certainly hope that Dutchess will immediately move forward to leverage these savings to repeal the local energy tax and to provide taxpayer savings immediately.”

    Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D-Hudson) said: “The taxpayers of Dutchess County have been saddled for too long with soaring costs –whether it’s energy bills, unfunded mandates, or property taxes. Since I took office I have been determined to find ways to bring much needed relief to my constituents and I am pleased that working with County Executive Marc Molinaro and Senator Greg Ball we have secured the funds to provide real relief to county residents. The aid provided to Dutchess County as part of the 2014-15 state budget agreement will give the County the ability to repeal the local energy tax; once the final budget is enacted I urge them to do so as quickly as possible.”

    Dutchess County Officials:

    Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro said: “The united voices of Dutchess County residents have been heard!  We have been unwavering in our efforts to work with our state representatives to provide real solutions to the problems created by Albany’s spending habits. We are grateful for the advocacy of Senator Greg Ball and Assemblywoman Didi Barrett who recognized the continued pressure of unfunded state mandates placed an untenable burden on the residents of Dutchess County. They have worked in partnership with us to provide much needed state funding relief that will allow us to repeal the sales tax on residential energy sources. But the need for mandate solutions remains and we must continue to work toward long term solutions so Dutchess County residents are not sending their county tax dollars to pay Albany’s bills.”

    Dutchess County Comptroller Jim Coughlan said: “I want to commend and thank Senator Ball and County Executive Molinaro for standing up for Dutchess County residents against the entrenched downstate politicians who care nothing about the taxpayers of the Hudson Valley. We are grateful for Senator Ball’s leadership, providing real mandate relief for Dutchess County. Everyone pays lip service to mandate relief but Senator Ball took action. As Dutchess County Comptroller and one of the lone voices who opposed the Energy Tax, I call upon the legislature to pass a resolution asking the New York State Department of Tax and Finance to immediately rescind the tax.”

    Dutchess County Legislators:

    Rob Rolison, Chairman of the Dutchess County Legislature said: “As has been stated all along, now that we have received relief from New York State through Senator Ball’s hard work, we are fully committed to immediately begin the repeal of the energy tax.  In fact, I have already begun the process. I have gathered the initial information and met with the Republican caucus. Now, I will be calling a special meeting of the Legislature to vote on the repeal.”

    Dutchess County Legislature Majority Leader Angela E. Flesland said: “As we stated from the beginning, the energy tax was the direct result of unfunded mandates. We have never asked for anything unreasonable, just for New York State to pay for their programs and Dutchess County to pay for ours. I am thrilled that Senator Ball and Assemblywoman Barrett worked with us to begin addressing the burden of unfunded mandates. I am thrilled these efforts will allow us to repeal the energy tax, which is our common goal. Repealing the energy tax will only be possible politics were put aside and everyone worked together in the best interest of those we represent.”

    Dutchess County Legislature Minority Leader Barbara Jeter-Jackson said: “This is welcome news for Dutchess County residents. The funding secured by our state representatives will help address the repeal of the energy tax instituted in our 2014 budget. Senator Ball and Assemblywoman Barrett’s efforts to addressing the relief needed for our senior citizens and low income residents will allow for a quick end to the energy sales tax. We must continue to work for solutions from the problems created by mandates, that didn’t just occur yesterday. Let’s hope all of our state representatives will continue to work together to improve the quality of life in the State of New York and keep families from moving away.

    Donna Bolner, Assistant Majority Leader said: “We made a promise to our constituents that we would do everything possible to repeal the energy tax and now we will be able to do that. I thank all of the residents of Dutchess County who reached out to their representatives in Albany to advocate for mandate relief; I am so thankful Senator Ball and Assemblywoman Barrett listened and worked to make this a reality. This is a true win for the residents of Dutchess County.”

    Legislator Ken Roman, Public Safety Chairman said: “This is a perfect example of how positive the outcome can be when elected officials put their differences aside and focus on doing their job, not making political gains. I hope Senator Ball and Assemblywoman Barrett’s colleagues take note of this and attempt it more often. Albany would function a lot better if there were more instances of cooperative work like this.”

    Dutchess County Legislator Dale Borchert, Budget, Finance & Personnel Committee Chair said: “Senator Greg Ball and Assemblywoman Didi Barrett recognized that Dutchess County residents’ local county tax dollars should not be paying to support Albany’s mandated programs and services.  We are grateful to both of them for working together with us for the benefit of Dutchess County residents.  They have secured critical funding that will enable us to restore the sales tax exemption on residential energy and we look forward to continued partnership with both of them to address the long term issue of mandate burdens on county governments.”

    Gerry Hutchings, Public Works Chairman said: “In my time in the County Legislature I have seen the enormous burden unfunded mandates place on the County and our residents. This is a huge step in the right direction to start addressing these unfunded mandates and the impact they have. Senator Ball and Assemblywoman Barrett have shown extraordinary leadership on this issue within the State Legislature and I hope it will lead to more productive results in the future.”

    Dutchess County Legislator John Thomes said: “I think it’s wonderful that we have worked as state and county to get this funding. The energy tax is a burden on all Dutchess County taxpayers. I would like to commend County Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and Senator Greg Ball for all the work they have done to make this possible. It is a wonderful thing that we have been able to secure this funding and will now be able to repeal this tax.”

    Legislator Ellen Nesbitt said: “I was proud to travel with my colleagues to Albany to work with Senator Ball and Assemblywoman Barrett on Mandate Relief Lobby Day. As the budget has now been finalized, I am thankful that they were able to deliver critical relief to Dutchess. I have opposed the energy tax since day one, and will work with my colleagues to repeal it without delay.”

    Legislator A. Gregg Pulver said: “The residents of northern Dutchess are thrilled we had Senator Ball fighting for us again. Though he no longer represents us on paper, it is clear he was the one fighting in the Senate to bring mandate relief to all of Dutchess County. I am so pleased that Senator Ball and Assemblywoman Barrett were able to work with us in the County Legislature and the Executive to make this possible. I look forward to voting to repeal the energy tax.”

    Legislator Don Sagliano said: “It is a win for the residents of Dutchess County that Senator Ball and Assemblywoman Barrett were able to advocate for and secure mandate relief funding that will allow us to repeal the energy tax. It is this type of partnership that will result in more positive outcomes for Dutchess taxpayers in the future.”

    Local Business Owners:

    Jim McCarthy, owner of Cloverbrook Farm said: “As a small business owner of Cloverbrook Farm in Dutchess County I would like to thank Senator Greg Ball and Assemblywoman Didi Barrett for working together to solve this energy tax crisis. Owning a business in Dutchess is extraordinarily hard enough, after already needing to squeeze every penny in this bad economy.”

    Jason Page, Page Park Associates said: “Being a pro-business public servant means balancing quality of life services with the need to keep costs and regulations down so that residents can afford to live and work locally. County Executive Molinaro and State Senator Ball are just that – pro-business public servants willing to work across party lines to deliver results. The state fiscal assistance they secured will enable Dutchess County to provide vital core services without the need for a tax on residential energy sources. Thank you.”

    David Petrovits, Black Top Maintenance (BTM) said: “It is rare to find true advocates for economic development and job creation in New York, but Dutchess County is lucky to have two – State Senator Ball and County Executive Molinaro. Their partnership to bring state relief to ensure we can repeal the County energy tax is crucial to positive economic growth. On behalf of all those who didn’t want to or couldn’t afford to pay more for home energy costs, simply, thank you.”

    Wayne Nussbickel, N&S Supply said: “As a business owner I applaud County Executive Molinaro and State Senator Ball for their work with Assemblywoman Barrett in getting state aid that will maintain county services and eliminate the recently imposed home energy sales tax. Kudos to them for working together to make Dutchess County a better place to live and work for my family and the families of the employees that work for me.”

    For more information, please contact jbachmei@nysenate.gov or (845) 531-9796

    ###