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Old 04-05-2013, 02:50 PM
Location: Northeast states
13,208 posts, read 12,201,043 times
Reputation: 4310


BRIDGEPORT -- Three days after saying his proposed 2013-14 budget would increase the average homeowner's taxes by $215, Mayor Bill Finch's administration has redone the math and now estimates the average tax hike could be closer to $400.
If the City Council were to pass Finch's $519.9 million budget, upping the mill rate by 2.5 mills, the average homeowner paying a $6,822 tax bill could see a $391.08 increase, the mayor's office is now estimating.
The commercial property figures have also been increased. Businesses paying an average $17,112 would pay an additional $981.01 under the proposal -- not the $524 figure the administration cited Monday.

"I'd like to know what changed that contributed to those adjusted numbers?" Councilman Angel dePara, D-136, a budget committee co-chairman, said late Thursday. "That means there's an even greater importance for us on this committee to look at all those numbers and really analyze their validity and look at the assumptions they're based upon."
The initial and revised estimates were both based on the worst-case scenario of the city losing almost $11 million in state aid.
Hearst Media Group reported the $400 estimate Monday, even though the administration insisted -- without any explanation *-- that it's $215 estimate was more reliable.

"As we said in the meeting today it is based on a snapshot in time and depending on what happens at the state level can continue to change," Finch spokeswoman Elaine Ficarra said in an email. "Not sure that you can give your readers an accurate picture of what the increase would be at this time."
On Wednesday, following his regular "brown bag lunch" with constituents at City Hall, Finch acknowledged his tax hike was likely closer to $400.
When the council's budget committee met Thursday for a budget briefing with Andrew Nunn, the city's chief administrative officer, and Thomas Sherwood, the city's director of policy and management, the difference in tax amounts was not discussed.
Later, when asked to confirm the mayor's Wednesday comments, Nunn, Sherwood and another Finch spokesman, Tim Hammill, presented the new data.

"We got all the elements up to date," Nunn said, emphasizing it is really too early in the budget process to make such estimates.
Councilman Carlos Silva, D-136, said he suspected that the $215 tax hike was too low.

"He wasn't being generous with the real numbers," said Silva, who has been a budget committee member for eight years. "Now that people are looking at it they're seeing the numbers are closer to that $400. It puts a lot of pressure on this city council."
An increase of 2.5 mills is "incomprehensible," Silva said, and he is aiming for under one mill.

"I don't want a tax increase at all," he said. "But I have to look at this realistically. If we shoot for zero and come up short by half a mill I think the people will be able to digest that a little bit."

The Bridgeport Republican Party is planning an anti-tax protest at City Hall, 6 p.m. April 15. Residents will have plenty of opportunities to make themselves heard.

The council will hold three budget public hearings on April 8, April 22 and May 7, all at 6 p.m. at City Hall.
Finch has scheduled three as well: April 10, 6 p.m., at Luis Munoz Marin School; April 30, 6 p.m., at

Discovery Interdistrict Magnet School, and May 7, 6 p.m., at Jettie Tisdale School. The mayor will also host a telephone town hall on his budget at 7:30 p.m. April 16.

Read more: Oops, city finds next year's tax estimates too low - Connecticut Post

New Mill Rate would be between 43-45
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:03 AM
Location: Tennessee
1,031 posts, read 2,349,309 times
Reputation: 745
With the mill rate at it's current level, the city is already paying for far too many services and stealing out of homeowners' pockets to do it. Increasing the rate is unacceptable--particularly when it's being justified as covering a loss in state aid without further budget cuts. My family lives in Bridgeport and their annual taxes exceed their mortgage payments; something is very wrong with that picture. Finch needs to go and the long-standing city council members need to go too if they don't want to deal with the "pressure" of maintaining budgets.
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:17 PM
6,500 posts, read 5,804,037 times
Reputation: 3595
Each town should have to provide a detailed breakdown of what tax money goes where, to the last the last penny. Maybe they do already but if not, the people should demand it.

Far too many people complain but don't demand to know where all the money goes. Or you have people that just shrug their shoulders.

We dont have alot of waste just at the federal level, but also at state and town levels. I think we spend far too much on entitlement and welfare as well as public pensions. This nonsense has to stop.
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