After several calls to various city officials, we still can't get an answer to a simple question: when does the city of Hartford reach the 100 mil level of taxation?
Based on the five years forecast (see box), Hartford is headed for financial disaster, much worse than this year - a year of almost complete breakdown. When the legislature stiffs us, when many refuse to pay their tax bill, and we see the unions take a powder, the final solution will be a hefty tax increase, no matter what the council thinks or does.
Current policy is to patch the increasing hole with tax increases - where else would we get the money? This means a future of 100 mils. Just do the math, it's only a matter of when. A re-val won't help, values have gone down. State aid is a joke, fool's gold we have relied on for years. We'll be lucky to keep even for the next few years. Grand list? Watch for a big drop next year in personal property and auto assessments, with little real property growth.
The total absorbtion of the Mayor and his office on building new schools is at the heart of the problem. His multiple hat policy has distracted him from being the city's salesman and added a tremendous burden (debt service) to the taxpayer. New schools are wonderful , but a ruined city, through taxation, is not a successful endgame.
Here at the Hartford News, we get many feel good e-mails pertaining to such things as ribbon cuttings, workers memorials, solar energy and various awards. Nowhere do see a plan to build the tax base to the size to mitigate costs. This year, raise taxes. Next year, raise taxes .... So, the question we ask again is - when do we reach 100 mils?