MAYOR BRONIN RELEASES ESSENTIAL SERVICES BUDGET, CALLS FOR NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH STATE
HARTFORD, CONN (April 17, 2017) – This afternoon Mayor Bronin released a Recommended Budget for Fiscal Year 2018 (FY2018 budget), his second proposed budget since assuming office.
The proposal is an essential services budget that preserves public safety and keeps education spending flat while retaining the $18.6 million in reductions made in last year’s Fiscal Year 2017 Adopted Budget. The City faces significant cost increases in fixed costs such as debt service, pension and health care, and the budget includes further service reductions as well as a continued need for labor concessions. Even with those reductions and labor concessions, the recommended budget relies on a new partnership between the State and the City's largest employers to fill a gap of $49.6 million.
“This budget delivers basic, essential services only," said Mayor Bronin. “Last year, we made huge cuts to the City workforce and to services, and while this proposed budget includes more tough reductions, we're reaching the limit of what we can responsibly cut without defaulting on our basic obligations to our residents. With half of the City's property tax-exempt, and with less taxable property than West Hartford, the City of Hartford cannot close a fifty-million-dollar gap without a new partnership with the State of Connecticut."
With a 74.29 mill rate, Hartford already has the highest property taxes in the State, and Mayor Bronin has repeatedly said that an across-the-board, general property tax increase would drive jobs and businesses out of the City, damaging the City's future fiscal health and growth.
Mayor Bronin continued, saying, “In today's economy, strong urban centers are vital to economic growth, and Connecticut needs a strong, vibrant Capital City. There will be huge consequences for the region and for the State of Connecticut if we cannot work in partnership to get the City of Hartford on a stable, sustainable fiscal path. We are doing everything we can at the local level to put our house in order, but this is a crisis that can't be solved at the local level alone."