The Town Board has been discussing a proposed local law which would reduce the Assessment Department from three elected assessors to one appointed assessor.  This proposed local law is part of a plan for setting continuing education requirements and hours to be worked by the assessor, reducing the cost of maintaining the Assessment Department and insuring the Town and its property owners access to an accredited assessor in the future.  The plan will not involve laying off office aides in that department or reducing the total number of hours of service to be worked by those employees, but to better use some of those hours of such employees to perform other tasks where the Town is short-handed.  The plan would allow the Town to operate the Assessment Department in a manner which conforms to the practices in the vast majority of Assessment Departments in Dutchess County and in the State of New York.

This proposal should not be construed as a criticism of the existing assessors.  Rather it is a recognition that the Town must plan for the future and make better use of existing resources.  Indeed, members of the Town Board wish to appoint the existing Chairman for the six-year term prescribed by state law for a single appointed assessor or, if he declines, to hire an experienced accredited assessor or looking into the possibility of partnering with another town having such an assessor.

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  1. A letter to the County Executive of Dutchess County

    February 19, 2014
    To: Marcus J. Molinaro, County Executive, Dutchess County
    From: Keith F. Greeney, Rhinebeck, NY
    Re: Republicans pass a tax on home energy. Dutchess County Budget, Home Energy Tax Approved
    Dear Mr. Molinaro:

    The following is a quote from you: “We are organizing our administration and developing policy to best serve the people of Dutchess County.”

    Is this new tax, attributed to your administration, the best way to serve the people of Dutchess County? I don’t think so. This is a regressive tax and, just in case you do not know, regressive taxes require lower-income families to pay a greater percentage of their income in tax than upper-income families. It is no different than taxing the food poor people have to buy at the supermarkets. We are talking about the most basic needs of all people …. food, water, and shelter. Should we begin to tax services to the poor, to the handicap, to the less fortunate?

    I don’t know who is advising you, but you may want to consider replacing this person with someone who is more progressive in his thinking and with more compassion towards the citizens of our County.

    I suggest you postpone this law; otherwise you and your party may not be re-elected in upcoming elections. Your supporters who voted for you do not like this tax any more than I do…


    Keith F. Greeney
    Rhinebeck, New York

    cc: All Dutchess County Legislators

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