(April 16, 2012) --- In accordance with the Charter of the City of Hartford, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra today presented his Fiscal Year 2012-2013 Recommended Budget. The budget focuses on several priorities that safeguard the health, cleanliness and safety of Connecticut's Capital City, and is designed to encourage grand list growth, promote job creation, improve quality of life and enhance quality education opportunities.
"This budget is the result of contributions from all of the stakeholders in Connecticut's Capital City and validates the collaborative process that we have all undertaken over the last four months," Mayor Segarra said. "Throughout this process, it became clear that in order to move Hartford forward, we must focus on the priorities of the people who live, work and visit Hartford."
The budget contains an appropriation ordinance for FY 2012-13 of $546.6 million, a decrease of $1.2 million under the revised FY 2011-12 budget. Additionally, the budget increases the City's contribution to the Municipal Employees' Retirement Fund, the annual grants budget, and the allocation to the Hartford Public Library. The appropriation to the Hartford Public Schools' budget would be unchanged, remaining at $284 million.
Moreover, the budget contains a five-year Capital Improvement Program for Fiscal Years 2012-13 through 2017-18, totaling $610.6 million, of which $60.9 million would fund the first year. (The net appropriation would be $44 million after grants and reimbursements.) This year's projects, which are essential to the City's wellbeing, include site preparation for the Public Safety Academy; improvements to the Northend Senior Center, Keney Clock Tower and municipal facilities; and significant improvements to City playgrounds. The overall five-year plan includes support for the iQuilt plan, Colt Streetscape and Coltsville redevelopment , as well as street improvements.
The budget also contains a 3.51 mill rate increase on all taxable property, and no drawdown on the fund balance to preserve and enhance the City's bond rating. The increase is largely the result of the five-year property revaluation, which will commence in FY 2012-13. Under the revaluation, commercial property values decreased approximately 20 percent and residential properties by 7 percent.
"Well over half of the budget deficit that we have worked to eliminate as part of this budget process - $35 million of the projected $56 million – was caused by the significant drop in property values," Mayor Segarra said. "Restoring lost revenues and maintaining our property tax at fiscal year 2010-11 levels would have required an increase of 10.72 mills, and I was unwilling to further burden residents and businesses.
Painful choices are required if we are to sustain our economic recovery and positively impact development and investment."
Finally, the budget contains several new sources of revenue, including a $3 million increase in collection of delinquent property taxes, an additional $1 million for Medicaid reimbursements, and PILOTs from non-taxpaying property owners.
A public hearing on the budget will be held on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. The hearing will be held at Bulkeley High School, 300 Wethersfield Avenue.