Are East Hampton and Portland Too Dependent on Property Taxes?

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities says it is and that all of Connecticut's 169 towns are being shortchanged by the state.


Connecticut’s 169 municipalities have gotten little increased financial help from the state in the last five years and remain overly dependent on state aid, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities says.     

CCM, the main lobbying group for local communities, released a bulletin Monday to candidates for the state’s General Assembly urging them to make education funding a priority in the coming year, according to the Connecticut Mirror.

In East Hampton, town residents approved a budget of $38.3 million in 2012 which included a 1.54 percent spending increase and a tax rate of 25.97 mills. During this year in Portland, voters approved a $30.4 million buget with a 2.12 percent spending hike and a tax rate of .47 mills.

State aid for towns overall stands at about $3 billion per year, while Connecticut’s 169 towns collectively raise about $9 billion annually from local property taxes, James Finley, CCM’s executive director, told the Mirror. State aid to towns has remained relatively flat over the last five years. When you factor in the rate of inflation, that means towns have actually lost financial ground during that five-year period, Finley added.

The state aid figures represent an over-dependence by towns on local property taxes, something the General Assembly should address by closing shortfalls in education funding to towns, Finley said.

"The key to property tax relief is education finance reform," Finley told the Mirror. "The overdependence on the property tax is unsustainable, and hometown Connecticut is in desperate need of revenue assistance."

Alan Kenney September 26, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Many affluent CT towns have extremely low mill rates. They should not receive any state education funding at all. Towns like Darien, Greenwich, etc have mill rates in the low teens.
SomeOne September 27, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Alan- thats because the assesed values of residences are very high and they have some commerical tax base. East Hampton has virtually no commerical tax base and very low home values.
eyeonthetruth October 15, 2012 at 03:54 PM
We need to deversify our tax base, that means we need WATER and GAS lines in certain parts of town. Businesses won't move here without it!
mhd1911 October 15, 2012 at 10:26 PM
How much will that cost each houshold?
jeremy February 11, 2013 at 06:06 PM
Do towns need to increase year after year? When times are tough, why cant towns learn to budget their money like the public does?


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