The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities made clear Monday that cuts in municipal aid will simply shift the tax burden to local property taxpayers across the state. But with Malloy, a former president of the organization as governor, the group is optimistic that their message will resonate this year.
“We recognize it’s going to be a tough session,” Kevin Maloney, spokesman for CCM, said Monday. “Certainly municipal aid is such a big part of every budget that it’s going to be looked to, but we have a new governor,” whose budget director, Ben Barnes, used to work for the organization.
“We think this is the time where our message is going to resonate that any cuts to cities and towns only result in increases in property taxes and cuts in local services,” Maloney added.
When it comes Danbury's upcoming budget, preserving state aid to municipalities is going to be paramount as any decrease in aid will result in a burden being shifted from the state level to the local level, and the first area that will be probably hit if aid is decreased is education.
On the campaign trail Malloy promised make sure the state funded its share of the Education Cost Sharing grant. But it will be a daunting task as the state has projected a more than $3.67 billion budget deficit.
Last year the state covered about 42 percent of school funding while local districts paid more than 52 percent. The states ability to cover 42 percent of school costs was due in part to the approximately $270 million in federal stimulus funds that won’t be there in 2011.
Given that Gov-Elect Malloy plans to adhere to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) once sworn into office on Wednesday, which could result in the state deficit number increasing by 1 billion dollars, keeping state aid to municipalities will be a daunting task for the new gubernatorial administration...and any decrease in aid could have a detrimental impact of Danbury's upcoming budget.