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Letter: Clarifying Norwalk's State Funding For 2016-17

Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling.
Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

NORWALK, Conn. — The Norwalk Daily Voice accepts signed and original letters to the editor up to 350 words. To submit a letter, email norwalk@dailyvoice.com

To the editor:

Dear Taxpayers of the City of Norwalk,

There has been a lot of preliminary and erroneous information reported regarding our upcoming fiscal year 2016-17 budget, particularly with regard to the State of Connecticut’s municipal funding for Norwalk.

This letter will offer clarification.

Norwalk will receive $2 million more in municipal funding from the State of Connecticut in the upcoming year than it did in this current fiscal year.

This additional money is partly responsible for the lowest tax increase in over a decade for the taxpayers of the city.

The average increase is 8.1 cents per $1,000 of a property’s assessed value.

For a property with a $250,000 assessed value, this equals an annual tax increase of only $20.25.

The city’s fiscal year 2016-17 budget, however, anticipated that it would receive $1.6 million more than what was included in the final state budget for Norwalk, as our budget was developed on previously released funding levels from the state.

This potential shortfall in state funding was discussed by the Board of Estimate and Taxation before it unanimously adopted the city’s upcoming 2016-17 budget on Monday, May 2.

The board discussed various actions the city could take to offset any potential loss of anticipated funding including, but not limited to, limiting approval of special appropriations to emergency situations, delays or elimination of hiring for vacant positions and possible reductions of overtime.

When our budget for the upcoming year was adopted, there had been reports of cuts between $1-4 million from these previously released funding levels, with the consensus hovering around the lower end of the range.

Now that the numbers from the state are final, we still agree with the Board of Estimation and Taxation's vote to manage this risk from within the adopted budget, rather than increasing taxes further or reducing Board of Education appropriations.

Harry W. Rilling, Mayor

Bruce I. Kimmel, Common Council President

Gregory D. Burnett, Board of Estimation and Taxation Chairman

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