Gov. Dannel Malloy and Democratic leaders in the state legislature are offering Connecticut municipalities more time to get their budgets in order, given the proposed sea changes in state aid that most locales are facing.
“We have heard and understand the anxiety expressed by local leaders over the timing of municipal aid assumptions and budget adoptions, especially when there is a long session and so many changes have been and will continue to be put on the table for consideration,” Malloy and Democratic legislative leaders wrote to Connecticut Conference of Municipalities Executive Director Joe DeLong.
“To that end, we would like to work with CCM and its members on potential changes to existing statutes to give municipalities more time to adopt budgets, as well as expedited adoption of grand lists.”
Other signees to the letter were Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney, Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz, Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff and House Majority Leader Matthew Ritter.
Malloy’s state budget proposes taking aid from more prosperous towns such as Greenwich and Fairfield and redistributing it, for example, to New Britain and Bridgeport.
“Completing municipal budgets while the state considers so many cost shifts and state aid changes is difficult and invites local fiscal instability and confusion,” DeLong responded in a statement.
“Property taxpayers deserve budgets that are transparent and adequately cover expenses for the upcoming year,” he continued. “Without complete information, we risk either overtaxation or having to send out a separate, additional rate bill midyear. Neither of these options reflect good government.
“While details have to be worked out, it is encouraging that the governor and legislative leaders also recognize this challenge and are willing to work with CCM and our members to determine if there is a better path forward for Connecticut taxpayers,” DeLong said.