Car Tax Bills to Go Out Sept. 1

By at July 26, 2017 | 7:58 pm | Print

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Whether or not the State approves a budget, car tax bills are set to go out on Sept.1 and will be due by Oct. 1.

“Because we cannot wait any longer we have to issue bills. We were holding out hoping it would be done in July. They were in session this past week and did not pass a State budget. We are hearing rumors they may not pass a budget until August or September,” said Mayor Erin Stewart on Wednesday. “We can’t continue to hold off on issuing car taxes because of the unknown at the State level. I have not heard of any updates from our legislative delegation on their thoughts or when they think we will have a budget. This is affecting our operations at City Hall.”

The City receives about $10 million in motor vehicle taxes at 37 mill rate. The City cannot operate without those funds.

“As of right now we will be okay with our flash flow until the end of October,” said Mayor Stewart. “We needed to make a decision and make it quickly. We can’t wait any longer for the State. They are putting us in an unfortunate situation and we are managing the best we can.”

Mayor Stewart said she apologizes to residents for the delay. The bills will be sent out at 37 mills, but there may be a second bill as the State could eliminate the car tax cap. That would mean residents would have to pay the bill at 50.50 mills. A supplemental tax bill would then be set at a later date if needed.

“That is not the ideal situation, but the State created this law that we have to follow. It’s nice to give taxpayers a break, but the State is not holding up their end of the deal by reimbursing the City for the money we would lose by lowering that mill rate,” said Stewart. “If the State does not give us the grant we are promised, we would be out about $4 million in our annual budget. We would have to come back to the table and figure where to cut $4 million from.”

Mayor Stewart said it is a very uncomfortable situation. Fortunately, the City did not raise taxes this year.

“I am managing the best I can given the chaos at the State Capitol. At some point other municipalities are going to be forced to make difficult decisions in order to function on a day to day basis,” said Stewart. “That is a scary reality.”

Other funds are also being delayed by the State.

Town aid road money is on hold. Local Capitol Improvement money has not been given out. Payments in lieu of taxes for all the State owned buildings in town have not been released. The City has about 52 percent of properties that are not taxable.

“These amount to large portions of our revenue streams that are not being met,” said Stewart. “It is uncomfortable to think of the situation we would be in if we do not receive this funding. The City of New Britain cannot operate without State funds. We could, but it would not be pretty.”

Stewart said the City is okay for now, but everyday without the State budget, the City is planning for the worst.

“We managed a $30 million hole before, so we will manage to get through this too,” Steward added.

.News Feature

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