New Haven’s mayor unveils budget that includes lower mill rate

New Haven mayor unveils budget
Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 12:02 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 1, 2023 at 8:09 PM EST
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NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - New Haven’s new budget will have a lower tax rate, but that doesn’t necessarily mean taxes will go down.

Wednesday morning, Major Justin Elicker released his nearly $663 million budget for the 2023-2024 fiscal year.

The budget included new positions in public safety, increased money for education, and it lowered the mill rate by nearly 6.5 percent.

That was done to help ease the impact on homeowners and their property taxes after last year’s re-evaluation, in which many saw the values of their homes go up.

“People are demanding more services from the city,” Elicker said. “We want to deliver on that. At the same time, we want to make sure we’re not putting an undue burden on people by significantly increasing taxes and it’s not easy to strike that balance.”

Mayor Justin Elicker says the city’s finances are a lot better than they were just a few years ago, but there’s still more work to do.

“We need to make sure we’re investing today, enough money, so that when folks retire, we have enough money to ensure that we can pay those bills,” says Elicker.

30 percent of the new budget increases come from fixed costs like paying down debts, pensions, benefits, and utilities.

Some highlights include:

  • 10 new positions within the police department including and adding additional detectives
  • $8 million increase for New Haven Public Schools
  • Investing in New Have’s libraries
  • 7 new positions in the parks department to help with park upkeep

“I think the Board of Alders finance committee, have a bunch of hearings coming up this spring, taking a hard look at the budget and making sure it aligned with the legislative agenda, affordable housing, providing support and resources to residents, public safety and I think there will be lots of conversations,” says Alder Eli Sabin.

While the board of alders will hold hearings and workshops, the mayor says he’ll also be holding a series of town halls so residents can weigh in. It’s expected the alders will vote on the budget in May because it needs to be approved by the first Monday in June.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker released his nearly 663-millions dollar budget for the 2023-2024 fiscal year.