Info Finder

Department Info

Mandate Relief

Budget Office
Jessica White, Budget Director


Mandates continue to consume 70% of every county tax dollar. We work diligently to control these costs and minimize the impact to taxpayers. 

Join us in calling for the State to: Repeal the MTA Payroll Tax,  Keep DMV Fee Revenue Local & Fund State Mandated Public Defense

Graphic: Your 2018 County Dollar

We hold ourselves accountable to you and will continue to make county government smaller, smarter and more effective.  - Marc Molinaro, County Executive

In Dutchess County, 70% of net county costs are required to pay for mandated programs and services.  The remaining 30% is “optional spending,” including crucial government functions such as health and mental health services, sheriff road patrols, road repair, snow removal, public transportation, 911 dispatch, and senior services.

Mandates continue to dominate our budget, including a net to county cost of $41.3 million for Medicaid, $13.6 million for Foster Care, $3.5 million for Safety Net, $10.8 million for the Preschool Special Education and Early Intervention Programs, and $37.6 million for Jail operating expenses.

The County continues to be a strong vocal advocate for mandate relief from New York State, by recommending either to remove the mandated cost or to provide the funding required to deliver the program or service.  Earlier this year, the County passed a resolution calling for the Governor to sign the “Public Defense Mandate Relief Act” passed by both the NYS Senate and Assembly which will require New York State to reimburse counties for the expenditures made fulfilling the state’s obligation to provide representation for those who cannot afford counsel beginning in 2017 and incrementally reaching 100% in 2023 and thereafter.  This mandate relief would result in $4 million in additional revenue annually for Dutchess County.  Additionally, the below two resolutions are submitted with the 2017 Executive Budget:

Repeal of the MTA Payroll Tax

Dutchess County Government, like all corporations, private and independently owned companies, not-for-profit agencies, hospitals, school districts and others, must pay 34 cents on every $100.00 of payroll.  The MTA payroll tax has cost Dutchess County Government more than $2.2 million since its inception in 2009 and will be an additional cost of $400,000 for residents in 2017.  The resolution calls for the immediate repeal of the payroll tax.

Increase in Revenue Share for State DMV Services Provided by Dutchess County

The Dutchess County Clerk’s Office is mandated by New York State (NYS) to operate a local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Office, a prime example of the services provided by counties for NYS. Under current law, NYS takes 87.3% of all fees collected and the remaining 12.7% local share has not increased since 1999, despite the increasing cost and workload for local DMV offices.  The resolution calls for an increase in the county share of DMV revenue, and points to Senator Patty Richie’s bill, which would raise the 12.7% share to a 25% share, keeping almost $2 million of local DMV revenue in Dutchess.  The bill S4964B, co-sponsored by Senator Sue Serino, passed the Senate in June 2016, but still requires passage in the NYS Assembly and approval by the Governor. 

Fund State Mandated Public Defense

Assembly Bill A06202, would have required the state by 2023 to fully fund indigent legal services, a $3.7 million cost to Dutchess County. Not only would this bill have rectified an inequity – the state was ordered to fund these costs for five counties in the state – but it would have also ensured that every individual, regardless of means, has access to their constitutionally protected right to legal defense. This bill would have produced significant and lasting mandate relief, but was vetoed by Governor Cuomo on December 31st, 2016.


Jessica White
Budget Director
Dutchess County Seal