“Residents and business owners across the state need to know that the amount of state aid to towns and cities — money raised from state taxes and fees that the governor and the General Assembly return to your community — directly affects the level of local services in your municipality and the amount of property taxes you pay,” CCM CEO Jim Finley said in a statement.
“When your property taxes go up and municipal services don’t meet your needs, ask your state legislators and the governor if state government is providing your community with adequate financial aid. State aid can help pay for the local services you need and can keep your property taxes from going up — again,” Finley explained. Continue reading →
A commission created by the House Speaker is calling for the elimination of the state law requiring public notices to be printed in daily newspapers.
The newspaper issue has become one of the more controversial matters at the state Capitol as the General Assembly approaches the final two weeks of the legislative session that ends June 5.
Multiple newspapers across the state have been publishing full-page advertisements, calling on legislators to maintain the long-running state law that says that public notices must be published in daily newspapers. Continue reading →
A coalition covering essentially every school in the state – public, independent, and Catholic - descended upon the state Capitol on Wednesday to protest cuts in money for school buses.
Seven different groups are opposing nearly $28 million in cuts that were made by the budget-writing appropriations committee for buses that serve both public and non-public schools. In many towns, the same buses are used as the drivers finish a shift for the local public school before picking up the students at a nearby private school that starts classes later.
The coalition includes the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE), the Connecticut Federation of Catholic School Parents, the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, and the Council of Small Towns, among others. Continue reading →
A key Democratic committee voted Friday to increase state spending by nearly 10 percent over the next two years in a state budget that cuts millions from hospitals, increases salaries for judges by 5 percent, cuts college scholarships, and extends a tax surcharge on corporate profits for two more years.
Legislators on a separate committee voted to reject Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s highly controversial plan to eliminate the property tax on most cars for the next two years, but Democratic leaders left the door open Friday for a possible compromise in the future.
Gasoline prices would increase by 2 to 4 cents per gallon on July 1 under a previously approved tax increase that is now scheduled to take effect for the main summer driving season. The increase would occur under the state’s highly complicated, two-pronged gasoline tax, and the exact amount of the tax would vary because the percentage is pegged to the fluctuating wholesale price of gasoline. Continue reading →
About 70 municipal leaders descended upon the state Capitol complex Wednesday to seek more money when the state budget is finally hashed out.
The leaders arrived because important decisions will be made over the next two weeks by the budget-writing appropriations committee and the tax-writing finance committee that are facing deadlines on April 23 and 24, respectively.
During a policy briefing at the Officers Club adjacent to the Capitol complex, the mayors and first selectmen heard from top legislative leaders, including Senate President Pro Tem Donald Williams, House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey, Senate Republican leader John McKinney, and House Republican leader Larry Cafero.
“We were encouraged,” said Jim Finley, CCM’s CEO and longtime chief lobbyist. “All the leaders on either side of the aisle said they were committed to holding municipalities harmless, but both Don and Brendan said there are challenges to do that.’’
The legislature’s education committee rejected various cuts for municipalities, but the final decisions will likely not be made until late May or early June by the full House, Senate, and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. Continue reading →
Leaders of the state’s largest cities are continuing their fight against Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposed budget, which they say will mean increases in local property taxes. This is Jim Finley, CEO of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities:
Democrat John DeStefano has been preaching about the problems of the property tax for the past 20 years, and he says this year is shaping up as the worst yet.
In two decades as New Haven mayor, DeStefano says he has never seen a state budget that would raise his mill rate more.
As a result, DeStefano traveled to the state Capitol Tuesday to lobby against Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget proposal by pleading his case to top legislative leaders who are now reviewing and reshaping Malloy’s fiscal plan. Lawmakers are working behind the scenes on the $21.5 billion budget plan that they hope will be resolved before the legislative session ends on June 5.
Malloy’s much-criticized car tax proposal would cost New Haven $15 million per year, and various other proposed cuts would cause even more problems, DeStefano says.
“We have been talking in this building, as Democrats and Republicans, for 20 years about the problem with the state’s over-dependence on the property tax,’’ DeStefano told reporters at the state Capitol complex. “And here you’ve got a budget that, more than ever, makes the state dependent on the property tax – a regressive tax that takes money from people irrespective of their ability to pay.’’
“Let me be very clear,’’ DeStefano said, mimicking one of Malloy’s favorite phrases. “I’ve never had a budget that increases taxes in New Haven by 4 1/2 mills from the state. That’s true.’’ Continue reading →
As a longtime employee of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, Jim Finley has been working in New Haven for the past 34 years.
He has since risen to be the organization’s CEO, and he remembers the days when stores were closing in the Elm City.
“In the early 1980s, the downtown was a mess – a lot of empty storefronts,” Finley recalled this week at The Russian Lady, a downtown nightclub where DeStefano announced to a packed crowd that he was not seeking reelection after 20 years in office. “He’s transformed this city. He’s left a lasting legacy.”
Even before he became mayor, DeStefano learned the ropes in New Haven as a municipal employee.
“John grew up in city government,” Finley said. “He knows city government inside and out, so he brought a combination of talents that you rarely see in a mayor. His institutional memory and knowledge are almost irreplaceable.” Continue reading →