In Time For Tax Day: Mayor, Legislators Hold Budget Discussions

by LonSeidman

With just over a week before Tax Day, discussions in Town Hall tonight and tommorwo will revolve around exactly how your money will be spent at the Town and State levels. With a sluggish economy and towns tightening their belts, residents in Wolcott are anxious over whether or not their tax burden will increase or decrease. Gov. Malloy has proposed a variety of increases in taxes, including the sales tax and gas tax. A number of additional special taxes are being proposed in addition to an increase in next year’s budget by over $100 million.

Markley and Sampson will hold a Town Hall meeting tonight from 6 – 8 pm at Town Hall. They will make a brief presentation and take suggestions and questions. “We’ll have a discussion about the state budget, our state deficit and some alternatives to Gov. Malloy’s proposals to increase taxes and spending,” said Sampson.

Gov. Malloy himself held Town Hall meeting to packed audiences in Waterbury and Bristol last month. His response was very mixed at both, with most residents giving harsh criticism. Many students from Kaynor Tech voiced their opposition to a Malloy plan to merge technical schools with local school districts. That idea is now dead while the legislature studies the possibility in a future session.

The Town’s budget will be presented tomorrow night when Mayor Dunn makes his presentation to the Town Council at 7:30. Residents should be aware that many state laws, mandates, and requirements control a significant portion of the town’s budget. Dunn and Municipal Finance officer Linda Bruce will be giving their plan for the upcoming fiscal year. They will also suggest whether or not money may be taken from or placed into fiscal accounts.

Over the next month, individual town departments will justify their recommended budgets to the Town Council in weekly hearings. Those department heads already submitted their requests to the mayor, and in some instances he has reduced those requests. The Board of Education approved a budget equal to last year’s. The Council can reduce the overall allocation to the BOE’s budget, but not any line item. That portion of the budget usually consists of about 60% of the overall town’s budget. They can reduce the line item of any other town department.

The Republican-American reports that Wolcott’s budget proposal is expected to be less than last year’s. After approving department budgets, the Town Council will have to recommend what percentage of the possible taxes could actually be collected. This ultimately will lead to what the mill, or tax, rate will be for 2011-2012.

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