NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk can spend up to $311.4 million to run the city and educate its children in 2013-14 fiscal year after the Common Council added about $81,000 to the recommended allocation Tuesday night.
Next year’s approved spending cap still falls short of providing the full $164.9 million the Board of Education had requested, which represents more than 53 percent of the city’s spending plan. But the council’s move was an early indication that more money could be added, which could mean that the education request might be fully funded by the time the final spending plan and tax rate are voted on in May.
Several school parents urged the council Tuesday night to add more money to the spending plan. In his amendment to add the $81,000, Councilman Bruce Kimmel said he believed city and education officials would get there in the end.
“I’m confident that come April and May, we’ll be very close to fully funding the education request,” said Kimmel, adding that city and education officials were not far off.
The vote for the $81,000 increase was 9-5, with council members Warren Peña, David Watts, Nick Kydes, Anna Duleep and John Igneri opposing it. The four Democrats who opposed the measure indicated they wanted to add more to the spending cap, while Kydes, a Republican, said he wanted to shrink the cap to cut the city’s tax burden.
“The taxpayers of Norwalk, we are broke,” Kydes said. “Residents are already overburdened with taxes.”
As it stands, the spending cap would raise property taxes by nearly 4 percent for the average taxpayer who pays about $6,300 annually. That 4 percent would translate to an increase of about $255 next year.