New Haven tax hike proposal met with mixed reactions

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — New Haven Mayor Toni Harp sent jaws dropping last Friday when she proposed an 11 percent tax increase to shore up the city’s dwindling finances.

News 8’s Mario Boone went to city hall to ask the mayor if a tax increase was the best option.

“If we could do anything else we would,” said Harp. “We haven’t raised taxes for three years. They went down a little bit last year.” In fact, the mayor seemed to suggest her proposal was modest. “We probably should’ve increased taxes more,” she said.

Related Content: Harp plans tax increase for New Haven

But city departmental cuts ranging from five to 15 percent helped avoid a higher tax increase push. As far as who or what is to blame, the mayor cited a reduction in revenue from building permits and cuts in state aid.

“The state reduced their payment to us by over $4 million,” Harp told us.

If passed, the tax increase would primarily impact property owners, but a number of smaller fees would have a broader effect, including hikes to parking violations, licenses and permits, as well as police and health department services. Reaction from taxpayers is mixed.

“I don’t think it would be beneficial,” said city resident Andre Hamilton. “For some people it probably will, but for most, nah. Like, maybe the urban community, I think no,” Hamilton finished.

“Taxes are extremely high in Connecticut, so I don’t think an 11 percent rate increase would be a benefit for us,” Montreal Godley opined.

Related Content: Study: 4th-highest real estate taxes found in Connecticut

One man thought it should at least be considered. “Maybe it’s a good idea, maybe,” said John Smith.

Harp says she’s also asking the city’s labor union for concessions.

“If we can’t find a way to come up with some form of concessions, we’ll have to consider layoffs,” the mayor said.

A public hearing at city hall is scheduled for March 12 at 6:00 p.m.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s