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CPOA Meeting: Residents May Have to Pay Mid-Year Tax

During its annual meeting Sunday at the New Britain Police Department, Citizens Property Owners Association (CPOA) President Nicholas Mercier said if the proposed budget passes, next year residents may see a supplemental tax bill.

“Almost every revenue line has increased by 150 percent or more. There is no basis to expect that to happen,” said Nicholas Mercier, CPOA president. “It is something we can’t attain. There is a promise we are going to not raise taxes and do all these wonderful things, but there is no way to make it balance.”

Mercier told the crowd at the end of the year the City will have to either sell City assets (such as the water department), dipping into the self-insurance fund or end up with a $20 million hole to fill.

“It will get filled by you and me with a supplemental tax bill perhaps or gets kicked down the road to next year where we will see a massive increase,” said Mercier. “What we would see is an additional 8 mills increase if we get hit with a supplemental tax bill and that is substantial.”

Mercier said the only way to prevent this is to call your alderman and ask them not to pass this budget. A public hearing is coming where people can voice their opinion on the budget.

“We need to stand up against this budget and tell them we can’t have a fictional budget,” said Mercier.

Some people questioned using funds from the pension fund to fill the budget,

“There is a point where you can take from a pension fund, but it is never a good idea,” said Mercier. “You don’t want to raid a balance. It is bad fiscal sense. You would not go into your IRA to pay your groceries.”

Mayor Tim O’Brien has consistently refused comment to the New Britain City Journal.

Guest speaker for the CPOA this year was Superintendent Kelt Cooper.

Mercier spoke very highly of Cooper.

“If you give him (Cooper) $1 million, he will get $2 million worth of value out of it,” said Mercier. “He will pinch the pennies and get every single ounce out of every dollar.”

Cooper said “there is not a reason for people like you to see trust in a system that is failing trust in the community.”

He said he plans to change a lot of thing in New Britain.

He said the bus companies will now go out to bid every few years to get the best prices as New Britain pays the highest for busses. He also said everything from getting the best prices for milk containers will occur in order to save money for the City so it can hire teachers.

“There are all these little pockets that add up to a sizeable amounts of money that we can put to better use,” said Cooper. “Our budget will be a line item budget. If we can get increases on the City side and become highly more efficient on this side of the fence, there will be a convergence in a short few years and our needs will be met at that point.”

One of the changes he is making is stopping the transporting of students all over the City. There were over 2,300 students that were using busses rather then going to neighborhood schools.

“We want to resist spending excessive money on just bussing kids around,” said Cooper. “The real answer to solving problems is to stand up and demand change.”

Police Chief James Wardwell opened the ceremony with a few moments of silence for the tragedy in Boston. Wardwell said he wants neighborhood policing.

“Each neighborhood has unique needs,” Wardwell said. “In the years ahead, us working together we will get a lot of terrific things done.”

Barbara Pac, daughter of former Mayor and Senator Stanley Pac, was given the Taxpayer Appreciation Award in her father’s honor.

Mercier said Pac was a staunch advocate for property owners and taxpayer’s rights.

The CPOA is open to anyone who owns property in New Britain. It advocates for fiscal responsibility and oversight in government. It fights for the rights and concerns for property owners. Anyone wishing to join can send a $10 check to CPOA, PO Box 2312, New Britain, CT 06050.