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.