Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s second budget proposal released earlier this week would not only reduce education funding for 139 towns, but it would eliminate most of the money lawmakers set aside last year to reduce local property taxes.
The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities said reducing the Municipal Revenue Sharing Account, which set aside a half-a-percent of the sales tax for local property tax relief, will result in tax hikes and service cuts for residential and business property taxpayers.
The supplemental budget Malloy released earlier this week reduced the amount of money in that account from about $109.3 million to $17.3 million.
The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities came up with an analysis of what the reduction would mean for every city and town in the state.
The mayors from Connecticut’s three largest cities have begged lawmakers to maintain funding for the account. Malloy’s budget would decrease New Haven’s share from $114,863 to $18,817, Bridgeport’s share would drop from $9.7 million to $1.5 million and Hartford’s dropped from $1.4 million to $245,505.
On Thursday, Malloy said he doesn’t necessarily believe the reductions in that account or the reduction in Education Cost Sharing will cause local elected officials to raise property taxes.
Local elected officials, many of whom have already presented their budgets, reminded Malloy, the former mayor of Stamford, that they have no other way to raise revenues.
Even Stamford Mayor David Martin said tax increases would have to be considered if these reductions in state aid move forward.
“No finite decisions have been made yet, but the back and forth and threats of significant cuts to municipalities is something we are going to have to watch very carefully over the next few weeks,” Martin said. “If these proposed cuts occur, there is a real possibility that Stamford will have to reduce services or increase property taxes, neither of which is in the best interest of our community.”
Malloy’s supplemental budget would reduce Stamford’s Municipal Revenue Sharing by $2.85 million. It would also reduce education funding by about $645,000.