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Towns to Connecticut Legislature: Of Course Taxes Will Rise

Creative Commons

Municipalities across Connecticut are crying foul on the budget proposed by Democrats in the state legislature. 

Town leaders said cuts to state aid in the budget will mean that property taxes inevitably have to rise, so the legislature’s claim to no tax hikes is false. 

Joe Delong of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities told a news conference: “Essentially what we have is a budget where the legislature has punted the football, and then gone home and told their constituents that they scored a touchdown.”

CCM called on lawmakers to reduce the mandates on local education districts as a way of mitigating the pain of the budget. 

Credit CCM
Joe Delong

Among the structural changes towns are asking for: a change to the Minimum Budget Requirement.

That currently forces towns to spend at least the same amount on education as they did the previous year, even if the student population decreases.

Portland First Selectwoman Susan Bransfield said it’s a straitjacket on municipal budgets.

"The imposition on of the Minimum Budget Requirement mandate over the past few years has meant that no matter what efficiencies might have been found within the board of education budget, the budgets cannot be reduced beyond a small amount," Bransfield said.

The state senate is expected to debate the budget in a special session on Thursday. The house has not yet set a date to convene.

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