— POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — Senator Terry Gipson (D-Dutchess, Putnam) today joined fellow elected officials to announce increased funding included in the state budget that will allow for the repeal of the Dutchess County energy tax. Senator Gipson opposed the energy tax from its onset and worked to secure additional aid for Dutchess with colleagues at all levels of government, including the Cuomo Administration, which said that Senator Gipson was in “continuous contact” with the administration during budget negotiations and a “vocal advocate” for benefits for Dutchess.

“I am proud to have worked with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to provide this necessary relief to Dutchess County,” Senator Gipson said. “During one of the harshest winters in recent memory, Dutchess residents were hit with a harmful, unfair energy tax imposed by the county government. Now that aid has been secured, I call on the county to repeal this regressive tax and put money already collected back into the pockets of Dutchess families and small business owners.

“While this funding boost provides much-needed immediate relief, we must do more to address the biggest driver of rising property taxes – unfunded mandates. I’ve proposed several solutions with bipartisan support, including a constitutional amendment to eliminate all new unfunded mandates, and will continue working to bring real, lasting tax relief to the hardworking families of the Hudson Valley.”

Assemblyman Kevin Cahill said, “I thank Senator Terry Gipson for his good counsel and strong advocacy to bring relief to our constituents in Dutchess County. No one has been a stronger, more strident opponent of the onerous Dutchess energy tax than Terry. His advocacy was integral to developing a critical mass that brought about the relief the new state budget provides to the county that will lead to the welcome end to the energy tax.”

County Legislator Micki Strawinski said, “I am as pleased as anyone in Dutchess County that the state government found a way to include funds in the state budget to allow for the repeal of the energy tax. However, I find that those in Dutchess County government who designed and voted for the tax to be patting themselves on the back for the repeal to be a bit duplicitous. I look forward to continuing to work with local and state representatives.”

County Legislator Barbara Jeter-Jackson said, “This is welcome news for Dutchess County residents.  The funding secured by our state representatives including Senator Gipson, Senator Ball, Assemblywoman Barrett, and Assemblymembers Skartados and Cahill will help address the repeal of the energy tax instituted in Dutchess County’s 2014 budget. We must continue to work for solutions for the problems created by mandates that didn’t just occur yesterday.”