Gov. Plan Cuts $12 Million From City

By at August 24, 2017 | 2:30 pm | Print

budget-cuts

If a State budget is not passed the City could be short $12 million.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy came out with a revised allocation plan this past week that drastically reduces revenue sharing grants to New Britain.

“They are tentative numbers and we will certainly weigh all our options once the state budget is passed,” said Mayor Erin E. Stewart. “Will we get to the point where it stands? It is a waiting game on the State to pass a budget and see in reality what is going to happen.”

Stewart said everyday a budget is not passed, it affects the City.

“It will inevitably affect our day to day operations as we are going to have to make some difficult decisions,” said Stewart.

A memo was sent out this week to reiterate to department heads that there is a spending and hiring freeze still in effect. It was sent out originally in March of 2016.

“Everything needs to come through the mayor’s office. We maintained a strong conservative spending practice,” Stewart added. “We’ve worked hard to maintain that ($15 million) rainy day fund that we talk about at a level of five percent of the operating budget. We have to continue to keep a watchful eye. We will work hard to prevent reductions in amount of service, but with a significant cut like that from the State, we are not sure how we will manage at the level we have been managing in the last couple of years.”

Several grants to be cut are under the revenue sharing grants, which includes payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT), which are payments for properties owned by the State that cannot be taxed at the city mill rate.

“Not all are zeroed out, but they are being reduced,” said Stewart.

The City normally receives about $102 million from the State and reduction now calls for about $90 million.

“It is a significant reduction,” Stewart added.

The good news is that the education grant for the City will stay the same. But neighboring towns like Berlin are losing 100 percent of their Education Cost Sharing grant.

“While we are grateful they have kept education funding the same in the City, we are still going to be suffering significantly on the City side,” said Stewart. “It will all depend on the State budget.”

Everyday there is no State budget the Governor has the authority to do line item cuts. These cuts are what Gov. Malloy has proposed in the meantime and is moving forward to do.

“If the State does not pass a budget soon, we will have to account for a reduction of $12 million,” Stewart concluded. “The amount of unknown is very scary. We will take it as it comes.”

.News Feature

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