Mayors and Selectmen Lobby for State Aid as Labor Negotiations Continue

Apr 12, 2011

Mayors and first selectmen from around the stateĀ  will gather at the Capitol Wednesday to urge legislators to not slash state aid to municipalities.

As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, the lobby day coincidentally comes just after Governor Dannel Malloy unveiled a contingency plan that would target municipal aid if concessions from labor groups aren't met.

In February, municipal leaders were thrilled with Malloy's budget proposal that called for sustaining state aid to municipalities at $2.8 billion dollars. But the aid was not guaranteed in a year that finds the governor deep in negotiations with state employee unions to agree to one billion dollars in concessions.

If no deal is reached, Malloy 's plan is to cut one billion dollars of state aid to municipalities instead

That means Hartford could lose $86 million; Bridgeport, $67 million; and New Haven, more than $71 million.

This contingency plan is not a surprise according to Kevin Maloney of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities or CCM. But he says the result would be detrimental to cities and towns.

"Simply because it would result in local property tax hikes, and cuts in municipal services and further layoffs of municipal and teacher employees."

Most of the state's funding to municipalities comes through the education cost sharing grant.

Meanwhile, CCM is hoping proposals to create new revenue options beyond property taxes will be approved this year. They include allowing a regional hotel tax, sharing a portion of the sales tax, and making permanent the municipal share of the real estate conveyance tax.