Segarra Says No Increase In Tax Rate, But Residential Taxes Still Could Go Up
Segarra Presents Budget
By Jeff Cohen
April 18, 2011
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra has proposed a budget that doesn't raise the tax rate -- but most homeowners will still see an increase in their tax bills. WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports.
Segarra began his press conference less as a passionate politician and more as a numbers wonk.
"In the liabilities and pensions area, this budget includes twenty-three million..."
Eventually, he warmed up.
"I am submitting a balanced budget. As I said this budget does not require any layoffs."
Segarra's proposed $547 million budget is a slight increase over last year and it doesn't raise the tax rate. That said, the tax bill of the typical single-family homeowner could still go up more than five percent.
That's a product of the city's complicated property tax structure that has for years shielded homeowners from their full tax liabilities. It's also worth noting, as mayors for years have done, that about half of the city's real estate is tax-exempt.
Because of that, Segarra eventually conceded that some city taxpayers could see higher bills.
"Not because we're spending any more money in terms of overall spending -- we're going back to 2008 and 2009 spending -- but because of that factor, yes, you might see an increase in that area."
And, by the end, Segarra asked those gathered to relax.
"Thank you very much. And smile, it's not that bad, it's a good budget."
Segarra's budget will now be considered by the Hartford city council.
Below is the press release:
MAYOR SAYS PRESENTS BALANCED BUDGET
FOCUS ON PRUDENT FINANCIAL DECISIONS, CITY GROWTH, AND PUBLIC SAFETY
—NEWS AND COMMUNITY RELEASE–
(April 18, 2011)— Mayor Pedro E. Segarra today submitted his proposed FY 2011-12 Budget to City Council that calls for no lay-offs, no increase in the mill rate, and no need to tap into the Fund Balance. The budget returns the City to FY 08-09 spending levels. It is $3,252,066 or .6% larger than the previous year’s budget, and that increase is due to collective bargaining requirements and pension contributions.
“When I became Mayor, I outlined 4 key goals in my strategy for government responsibility to ensure accountability and to grow Hartford. Transparency and openness are the hallmark of my administration. This is the first ever budget where all inter-governmental funds are recorded in the budget. This complete financial plan of action also fulfills the most important goal of all and that is to improve the quality of life for the residents of our great City,” said Mayor Segarra.
Mayor Segarra’s budget invests in summer youth employment, economic development and job creation, and public safety by including new Police and Fire recruit classes.
The largest portion of the City’s budget ($283,365,643) is allocated to education to ensure the Hartford students of today are prepared to compete for the jobs of tomorrow. The budget is also streamlined through department reorganizations and consolidations to maximize and better leverage future dollars for the city.
“I am proud to say that this budget reflects the concerns of every Hartford resident – it does not raise taxes. I look forward to working and collaborating with the City Council, as we did during the Committee of the Whole workshop process, to further increase accountability and efficiency throughout City government,” said the Mayor.
A public hearing on the budget will be held on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. at Bulkeley High School Auditorium. This hearing will be aired live on Government Cable Access Television Channel 96 which streams live on www.hartford.gov.