STAMFORD, Conn. – As the city works to complete its budget processing for the next fiscal year, Mayor David Martin said he is increasingly concerned about the potential impact of state budget cuts to Stamford and how they will affect taxpayers.
“No finite decisions have been made yet [on the state budget], but the back and forth and threats of significant cuts to municipalities is something we are going to have to watch very carefully over the next few weeks,” Martin said Friday in a statement. “If these proposed cuts occur, there is a real possibility that Stamford will have to reduce services or increase property taxes, neither of which is in the best interest of our community.”
Martin announced March 8 that he wants the city's tax increase to be under 3 percent.
Gov. Dannel Malloy's supplemental 2017 budget, released last Tuesday, would reduce Stamford’s Municipal Revenue Sharing by $2.85 million. It would also reduce direct funding to Stamford’s Board of Education, including school accountability and extended school hours funding, by $645,000.
That would come to a potential lost of nearly $3.5 million in state funds for Stamford.
“Reducing Stamford’s state funding by $3 million would create a significant challenge to our budget," Martin said. "The timing of these proposed cuts is critical as the Board of Finance sets the mill rate by the end of May and we don’t know if, or when, the legislature will make these cuts.”
In order to forward Stamford’s state interests, Martin has been having regular meetings and calls with the state delegation to Hartfrod and has a meeting with Speaker of the House J. Brendan Sharkey scheduled for next week.
Earlier this year, Martin met with Senate Appropriations Chairman Beth Bye (D-West Hartford), Senate President Martin Looney (D-New Haven), and Malloy.
The state legislature is expected to approve a new state budget for the next fiscal year before it adjourns on May 4. The proposed cuts are part of an effort to close a $922 million deficit for Fiscal 2017.
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