Hartford city council working to finalize budget

Hartford city council working to finalize budget
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 6:43 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - The Hartford City Council is meeting Wednesday night in hopes of approving of the budget for the next fiscal year.

Affordable housing and safety are big issues residents want addressed.

The mayor’s proposed budget totals nearly $600 million.

The city council has been meeting all afternoon, deliberating the budget and proposed changes.

Exactly one month ago, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin delivered his recommended city budget.

Since then, there have been a series of public hearings.

Mayor Bronin is recommending the property tax mill rate be reduced from 74.29 to 68.95.

“This is a balanced budget that includes the largest reduction to the property tax mill rate in decades. It’s a reduction of about 7.2 percent,” said Bronin.

A mill rate is the amount of tax payable per dollar of the assessed value of a property.

Hartford City Council members Josh Michtom and Tiana Hercules want to see more help for renters in the budget.

“Evictions are really high, rents are rising, a lot of constituents have come to me talking about substandard housing, in other words repairs not getting made,” said Michtom.

About 75-to-80 percent of Hartford residents are renters.

The Working Families Party members want the new budget to allow for more housing inspectors.

“It’s awful that many people are going back to their homes and have to contend with rodents and environmental hazards like mold. And so we really do need and would like to see more housing inspectors to be able to be proactive about enforcing our housing code,” said Hercules.

The mayor’s proposed budget includes about $94 million for public safety.

That includes the city’s police and fire departments.

“We take a more comprehensive look at public safety, right it’s not only the police, it’s also making sure our roads are safe, making sure our parks are properly resourced and the infrastructure there is safe,” Hercules said.

The city council is expected to vote on the budget tonight at 7:30 p.m.

The mayor can approve or veto it.

If approved, the budget takes effect this July.