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Mayor Luke Bronin Chooses New Taxes Over Reform

January 7, 2017 By Staff
Mayor Luke Bronin Chooses New Taxes Over Reform

The mayor’s solution? Hartford’s suburbs should bail out the city.

Connecticut’s chronic struggle with a sputtering economy and a declining tax base is well-documented. The state’s seemingly never-ending cycle of budget crises, followed by increased taxes, spending and regulation, has given the state a recent reputation of being anti-business.

Hartford, once “New England’s rising star,” is the crowning example of Connecticut’s economic challenges. The capital city recently had it credit downgraded after years of mismanagement:

A major rating agency has downgraded the credit rating of Hartford, saying Connecticut’s capital city lacks a credible plan to balance its budget and fix future projected deficits.

While Hartford faces a critical budget shortfall, the city can somehow found money to fund projects like the Hartford Yard Goat’s stadium, a boondoggle from the start to its eventual finish.

The mayor’s solution? Hartford’s suburbs should bail out the city. Bronin recently pushed for a regional tax, and the state legislature, to rescue the city:

The city is facing a $22.6 million shortfall this year and a more than $50 million budget deficit in the next fiscal year – about 20 percent of total expenses.

…Bronin has suggested a bump in the state sales tax or the creation of a regional tax to help ease the burden on Connecticut’s municipalities. He has also floated the idea of shared services with neighboring communities.

It seems Hartford’s leadership hopes to recruit other towns to pay down Hartford’s deficit.