Norwalk Considers $311.3 Million Spending Plan

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Norwalk is considering a $311.3 million spending plan for the 2013-14 fiscal year.
Norwalk is considering a $311.3 million spending plan for the 2013-14 fiscal year. Photo Credit: Alfred Branch

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk residents could face a 3.9 percent increase in their property taxes next year under a proposed city spending plan of $311.3 million.

The proposal, which is recommended by Finance Director Tom Hamilton, represents a nearly 4.9 percent increase over the city’s current spending plan. For the average family paying $6,338 in property taxes, the increase will add another $250 to their bill.

Hamilton presented the recommended budget to the Board of Estimate & Taxation Monday, the first of several meetings city officials will hold over the next several weeks before the plan is finalized, so the amounts are subject to change.

The city’s current spending plan is $296.8 million, so the increase in the proposed plan is a jump of more than $14 million. Among the drivers for the proposed spending increase is a 34 percent hike in the city’s contractual pension contribution, an increase of $2.5 million, according to Hamilton.

Additionally, city employee health care costs are rising 18 percent, or $1.7 million next year, which is a contractual item, officials said.

“Nobody wants to raise taxes, but some of the factors driving this increase are beyond our control,” said Mayor Richard Moccia, adding that there may be “some tweaking” to the recommended budget. “At the end of the day, I really don’t believe the people of the city want to lose some of the services they currently receive.”

Fred Wilms, chair of Estimate & Taxation, agreed.

“I don’t believe the residents want a meat ax taken to the budget," he said. "We’ve avoided taking some of those extreme steps in the past.”

Included in the spending plan is a recommendation for about $164 million for the Norwalk school system, which represents about 53 percent of the city’s overall budget. Also, the city is looking to add three new police officers to the force, which could help with rotations in placing more officers in or around the city’s schools for added security, according to Moccia.

While property taxes pay the bulk of the spending plan, the city’s Grand List is projected to be roughly flat next year with an increase in value of only about 0.2 percent. With such a small gain, residents cannot rely on a large Grand List increase to help offset the tax increase, officials said.

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Comments (22)

More than 50% of this increase is going to be taken up by the pensions and health care plans of city workers? Why exactly should I be forced to pay for someone else's pension or health care?

Most private sectors companies no longer provide pensions and few cover full health care costs of their employees or their employee's families. Time for the city, state, and federal governments to be forced to live in the same world as the private sector.

When I can drive down the street the day after a storm ends, I'll pay more taxes. When the nightmare neighbor's delivery truck doesn't wake me up between 3:30 and 5 a.m. because of the ridiculous change in use P&Z allowed, I'll pay more taxes. When I don't wish I had bought a house in another town, I would be happy to pay more taxes. Now, I'm broke and stuck here. No way.

Hey Mayor Moccia sell the fire boat no city like Norwalk accepted a boat knowing free didn't mean no expense afterwoods.YOu got people like Joanne with her useless votes simply making taxes go up and propety value go down./

This shooting today effected all of Norwalk,show Carvin the the door its pathetic what has been done to our city under the Republican rule./

Excellent post and information

What does Joanne Romano have to do with this? She is no longer on the Council.

I thought so, right?

Yes Jimmy it is a great article of how the Republicans want to raise Norwalk taxes

So, let me clarify this, Timmy. Since over 60% of the City's budget traditionally goes to the Board of Education, are you saying you want to cut the BOE budget? That will be interesting, particularly as they have had almost a flat line budget the last few years.

Out of the remaining 35 or so percentage, the majority is benefits and wages. So, which department are you advocating should close? Planning and Zoning, Police Department, Fire Department, Public Works, or Parks and Recreation?

wow great article about Norwalk taxes Timmy!!!

Ponytail Steve
What economic crisis?

True Niikk
We are laughing hysterically as we have not heard anyone use that term for years. Thanks to President Obama's leadership he has brought the county out of the depression that the Republican village idiot Bush caused.

Part time employees of the city are paid very little, while the full timers are smug about their automatic step increases and union negotiations. Part time employees (under 20 hours/week) have received a 0% increase in the past 4-5 years (maybe someone can verify the number of years it has been). Many if not most of these people live in Norwalk. In these tough economic times I object to any tax increase whatsoever.

Keep paying police and fire employees a physician's salary and public works employees an engineer's - and then pay them not to work for 20, 30 or even 40 years (e.g. taxpayer funded pensions) - and absurd and ever-soaring property taxes (on homes that have dramatically declined in value) will follow.

This city's politicians together with its public-unions have and will continue to financially r@pe its taxpayers.

Golden11 is 100% correct. City employees are getting paid way to much with overtime and the result is taxpayers having to pay more. STOP SPENDING and get rid of defined benefit pension plans.

Yes ENorwalk and we need to start with the insane clauses on the police contract for overtime.

Unions think they are exempt from the current economic crisis.
They are exempt from Obamacare, that's about it!

Its time that all employees of the city pay for there family members benefits.Family members do not work for the city or anyone in the city.That's right all city employees(teachers,city hall workers, police and fire)

Latino You said it when we have most if not all cops making in the six figure its time we stop with the family paid insurance.

The question is how many police officers do we have now?
We no longer trust Mayor Moccia his past has shown us he gets thru this before the election heats up and people forget the shortfalls he has handed the city.Suppose his work will also see a sharp decline as he stumps for Mayor.

I think enough people have seen how he works and now we have the three stooges,Bruce,Carvin and Mike needing replacing it should be a great race after all.

I don't always agree with Carvin, Mike or Bruce, but they usually do their homework and actually why they hold their views. And that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Once again more tax and spend from the Republicans