The governor is looking to create a board to review municipalities to review their finances and stop cities and towns from bankruptcy.
Gov. Dannel Malloy said he wants to do that by starting a municipal accountability review board that will intervene before financial disaster strikes. According to the proposal that will be in revealed the governor's full budget on Wednesday, towns would have their finances assessed and be put in one of four tiers. Towns in the "fourth tier" would qualify for assistance, but they would need to officially ask for help.
“We have an obligation to all of our taxpayers or ensure their tax dollars are being spent judiciously, but it's more than holding cities or towns accountable,” Malloy said. “It's ensuring a system of municipal intervention and support is established, so that local governments can get back on solid financial ground as soon as possible. We cannot wait until a city or town is on the doorstep of bankruptcy, it's not good for them, not good for the residents, it's not good for employees and it's not good for the state. “
Waterbury, West Haven, Bridgeport and Jewett City have needed state assistance in the recent past.
Connecticut Conference of Municipalities said they are "appreciative" that the governor "continues to foster a dialogue on the important challenges facing Connecticut’s municipalities."
"CCM has absolutely no issue with appropriate measures of accountability and oversight being put into effect in order to insure the long-term stability and viability of all our communities. However, this accountability must be accompanied with the appropriate structural changes necessary in order for our urban centers to succeed," Joe DeLong, who is the executive director of Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, said in a statement on Thursday.
Connecticut Conference of Municipalities called the "overreliance on property taxes, especially in urban areas where most of the property is tax exempt continues to be a recipe for disaster."
"Oversight without the necessary structural changes, only insures that we will recognize an impending train wreck more quickly. It does not prevent the wreck," DeLong said. “CCM remains committed to working with Governor Malloy and state leaders in order to develop long term sustainable solutions that will give every city and town in Connecticut the opportunity to not only survive but prosper.”
The governor will present his full budget proposal on Feb. 8 during a joint convention of the Connecticut General Assembly. .
To read the fact sheet on the Governor’s municipal accountability proposal, click here.
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