Channel 3 spent the Thursday talking with the leaders of small Connecticut towns and learned for many, it may translate into higher property taxes.
Many towns have already sent out property taxes and now, if no budget is passed, residents in those towns will be getting another one. Leaders of small towns all around the state descended on the State Capitol on Thursday hoping for one thing.
“We were going to have a press conference to urge him to sign the budget,” Litchfield First Selectman Leo Paul said.
However, Gov. Dannel Malloy kept his promise and vetoed the Republican budget on Thursday. Each minute that passes, brings the state closer to continuing the executive order on Oct. 1.
If it remains, leaders are painting a bleak picture. In Litchfield, President of Connecticut's Council of Small Towns Paul said the $2.3 million in town aid would be gone.
“You do the math,” Paul said. “It's 2.3 million in costs to the town of Litchfield that we haven't accounted for.”
While the numbers will be unique for each town, Paul said what's going on in Litchfield mirrors what's going to be happening all over the state. This is how they plan on bridging the gap.
“We are going to have a conversation with the board of the selectmen, the board of finance, the board of education in our community and say where can we make some adjustments in our budgets,” Paul said.
Paul said needing to find $2.3 million in savings won't be easy.
“If we're able to make up $400,000, we're still at a $2 million deficit,” Paul said.
Paul explained the next step.
“That's a $2 million increase for the residents in the community of Litchfield, somewhere in a 4-8% tax increase,” Paul said.
Channel 3 asked Paul if the property taxes already gone out in Litchfield.
“We passed our budget,” Paul said. "Yes, they went out."
Channel 3 asked Paul if they will send out another bill.
“We're not going to be able to make up the additional two million, so they'll probably be supplemental tax bills that will go out to our residents,” Paul said.
Paul said the reason taxes will be raised is because we're so deep into the fiscal year, cuts to schools would change the landscape of education. Those cuts will be taken up next year, so in the meantime, it'll fall on the shoulders of taxpayers.
“What the governor and Ben Barnes is doing in essence, is not increasing state taxes, but increasing personal property taxes at the local level,” Paul said.
Paul said the way to avoid it is to pass a budget that doesn't touch town aid, but the state saw what happened to the one that didn't, it cut funds to University of Connecticut and then, it got vetoed.
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