County Executive Marcus Molinaro, touting his fiscally conservative fiscal policies, released his 2018 county budget proposal of $480 million on Tuesday.

Lobbying against NYS mandates including the funding of the Fashion Institute in NYC, Molinaro informed elected officials and community leaders that seventy percent of every tax dollar collected by Dutchess County is the result of a state mandates.

The proposed budget includes $1.5 million for Dutchess Tourism Inc. including a 20 percent increase in arts funding. According to Molinaro, the county's investment in arts and tourism has paid dividends with more than 4.75 million visitors to the county which generated $568 million in annual visitor spending, resulting in increased sales tax and hotel receipts.

Over $3 million will be committed to continued domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and response, including staffing to maintain the tracking of Domestic Violence Incidence Reports through a coordinated database for police agencies that allows for enhanced tracking and prosecution, combined with strategies to prevent future domestic violence.

2018 is the Year of the Veteran and Molinaro's proposed budget includes funding for a WWI commemorative event as well as special recognition for Gold Star families.

The budget that will be analyzed by the county legislature after election day includes a property tax levy reduction of more than $92,000 with total appropriations of $480,139,857. The average property tax rate will be reduced by four pennies per $1,000 of true value assessments; from $3.58 to $3.54 per $1,000.

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