State budget woes impact city budgets

Connecticut State representatives at the Capitol (AP Photo / Jessica Hill)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– New Haven already has a balanced budget for this year and next year. The problem is that next year’s budget is dependent on contributions from the state, that will now be lowered by about $8 million.

City of New Haven spokesman Laurence Grotheer made it clear the importance of state aid to the Elm City.

“It’s essential,” Grotheer said.

And that’s why city officials were concerned when state budget numbers showed that New Haven will receive $8 million less than what city officials budgeted for previously. Now they’re worried about adjustments that may be needed from the shortfall.

Related: Session over, budget document still not seen

“Just as the state has had to adjust its services, the city would have to do so as well,” Grotheer said.

The state is facing a $963 million deficit. On top of that income tax projections were short by $838 million. Lawmakers hammered out a budget that will be voted on in a special session next week. Closing that deficit meant significant cuts nearly everywhere.

Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney (D-New Haven), said New Haven isn’t getting what they were told at first, but will still see an increase in state funding from last year to current.

“To have an $8 million increase from $219 million overall (in fiscal year 2016), to $227 million overall (in fiscal year 2017), when so much else is being decimated, is really a victory for cities.”

New Haven residents will also see a decrease in their vehicle tax. The budget caps the car tax at 37 mills, with the state reimbursing the difference.

“Cities overall, largest, most needy cities received substantial increases,” Looney said. “Other communities in the state were flat-funded or saw decreases.”

New Haven officials said they will wait to see what the final budget is after next week’s special session, bite the bullet, and make adjustments accordingly.

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