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With Hartford City Council Approval, State Taxpayers Officially on Hook for City Debt

March 27, 2018 By Staff
With Hartford City Council Approval, State Taxpayers Officially on Hook for City Debt

Payments of Hartford's debt could be up to $40 million a year for the state, according to Mayor Luke Bronin.

With official approval from the Hartford City Council on Monday night, state taxpayers are now on the hook for up to half-a-billion dollars in the capital city’s debt over the next two decades.

Mayor Luke Bronin (D-Hartford), who is running for governor in 2018, released a statement suggesting the debt payments will allow Hartford to turn the page:

“Our primary mission over the last two years has been to put Hartford on a sustainable fiscal path, without faking it or doing things that might buy time but make the problem worse down the road,” said Mayor Bronin. “We cut tens of millions of dollars in spending, negotiated dramatic savings with our labor unions, and secured a commitment from our biggest employers to be part of a comprehensive solution. We also made clear from the beginning that even the most draconian cuts and the most dramatic labor concessions would not be enough to provide fiscal stability to a city built on the tax base of a suburb, with half its property tax-exempt, and with rising fixed costs locked in years ago.”

Reclaim Connecticut first reported on the deal, which puts Connecticut taxpayers on the hook for up to $550 million in the city’s debt, last week.

Bronin noted in his press release that Hartford “expects to refinance that debt at the direction of the State to ensure that the annual debt payments do not exceed $40 million.” That $40 million is still a big hole in the state budget given that, for example, the current fiscal year (FY) budget deficit is around $160 million.