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The One Thing Missing in Hartford’s Efforts to Close a $65 Million Deficit

March 23, 2017 By Staff
The One Thing Missing in Hartford’s Efforts to Close a $65 Million Deficit

Mayor Luke Bronin (D-Hartford) will rely on borrowing, state aid, the ability to tax hospitals, and his push for "regionalism" to close the deficit, but not this one, big item.

In an article out on Thursday morning, the Hartford Courant lays bear the fiscal challenges facing Hartford, and Mayor Luke Bronin (D-Hartford) for the upcoming fiscal year.

Reporter Jenna Carlesso notes that Hartford faces a $65 million deficit in fiscal year 2018 (which starts October 1, 2017). Mayor Bronin is beginning to detail how he’ll close that gap, which includes:

  • The ability to tax their nonprofit hospitals, a proposal in the budget of Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.), would bring in $34.5 million, but also would lead to higher costs for hospitals and their patients
  • Borrowing “as much as $20 million
  • Bronin’s push for regionalism, which could include “a regional tax or shared services with nearby towns”

One effort Bronin is not pursuing: union concessions. Carlesso points out that, last year, Bronin sought “$15.5 million in givebacks.” He has only achieved $1.5 million so far.

Pension expenses cost Hartford $41.9 million this fiscal year. Health benefits cost another $33.2 million, and other benefits cost $8.8 million.