State budget impacting West Hartford's financial situation - WFSB 3 Connecticut

State budget impacting West Hartford's financial situation

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West Hartford officials say this year's budget is difficult to work on (WFSB) West Hartford officials say this year's budget is difficult to work on (WFSB)
WEST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

West Hartford officials have about a month to figure out the town's budget for next year.

It’s already a tough task made even more difficult by the state's financial issues.

"This is probably the most difficult budget I’ve ever worked on, and this is my 8th year,” said Town Councilor Denise Hall.

Adding to the town's looming financial crisis, are the state's problems, and West Hartford could be faced with a reduction of millions of dollars in aid if the state budget recently presented by Gov. Dannel Malloy, passes.

"About a $15 million swing that's huge, that's 3 mills, almost 3 mills for us, 11 percent property tax increase,” said West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor.

That’s an increase residents like Emmett McTeague say they simply can't afford.

"I’m not entirely on fixed income but it's moving in that direction and it's very hard for people,” McTeague said.

Officials are also looking at the reduction or the elimination of some services and programs to cut costs. Not a popular decision, but a necessary one.

“Obviously public safety is our main duty. Keeping our streets safe and the education, the biggest expense is around employee costs and benefits and the best way to address that is through collective bargaining,” Cantor said.

She added that they have also been talking to other communities, to find out how they are approaching their budgets this year.

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