Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Straight Outta Hartford

In another blow for Connecticut's tax hikers, Hartford is now broke:
The city’s​ ​$49.6 million budget hole and the impending departure of one of its biggest employers, Aetna Inc.,​have shined a light on its unusual predicament: Half of the city’s properties are excluded from paying tax because they are government entities, hospitals and universities.

It has less taxable property than the neighboring suburban community of West Hartford, which has less than half of the population than its urban neighbor. And Hartford’s total property-tax receipts are about 25% below that of the tony community of Greenwich.

“The root of the problem is you have a city built on a tax base of a suburb,” Mayor Luke Bronin said.

The mayor said the small tax base along with growing fixed costs produced structural budget deficits that prior administrations sought to deal with through asset sales, short-term debt restructuring and property-tax increases.

Mr. Bronin is now asking for financial help from the state to help close Hartford’s budget hole.

“My goal and my hope is that legislators from around the state of Connecticut will recognize that Hartford cannot responsibly solve a crisis of this magnitude at the local level alone,” he said.
The whole state seems to have that problem, and they brought it on themselves...

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