Are cities and towns really being cut under the governor’s proposal?

The cover of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities April newsletter

Connecticut Conference of Municipalities

The cover of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities April newsletter.

When is a cut in state funding actually a cut, and when is it not?

Last spring, state legislators passed a two-year budget that promised to begin sending an additional $240 million to cities and towns across the state in the fiscal year that will begin in July.

Then the state’s fiscal picture deteriorated and the state now faces a deficit nearing $1 billion.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is now proposing to keep $91.4 million — about 40 percent of that account known as the Municipal Revenue Sharing Account — to help close the state’s shortfall. He also proposes having the account cover the nearly $30 million grant the state currently provides towns for the transportation of school children. And then on top of that he is proposing cutting the primary grant municipalities currently receive for education, the Education Cost Sharing grant, by $53.8 million.

So what’s the bottom line for your town?

Every municipality would get less of an increase than originally promised last June. While the proposed cuts on the table now leave 118 towns with a net loss, 51 — including the state’s large cities –would still would see sizable gains. For example, Hartford stands to gain $27.2 million, New Haven $19.5 million and Bridgeport $10.1 million, according to data provided by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.

Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney and the coalitions that represent cities and towns have decried the governor’s proposal, promising that it would lead to tax increases at the local level.

Here’s a look at the primary grants towns receive, and what the governor has proposed. This does not include an analysis of the smaller grants the state provides to municipalities.


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About Jacqueline Rabe Thomas
jacqueline_rabe

Jacqueline won two first prizes from the national Education Writers Association for her work in 2012 – one in beat reporting for her overall education coverage, and the other, with Keith Phaneuf, in investigative reporting on a series of stories revealing questionable monetary and personnel actions taken by the Board of Regents for Higher Education. Before coming to The Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.'s Maryland newspaper chains. She has also worked for Congressional Quarterly and the Toledo Free Press. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Jacqueline is in the public policy master’s program at Trinity College. E-mail her at jrabe@ctmirror.org.

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