Segarra Presents Budget

Apr 18, 2011

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra has proposed a budget that doesn't raise the tax rate -- but most homeowners will still see an increase in their tax bills. WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. Segarra began his press conference less as a passionate politician and more as a numbers wonk. "In the liabilities and pensions area, this budget includes twenty-three million..." Eventually, he warmed up.  "I am submitting a balanced budget. As I said this budget does not require any layoffs." Segarra's proposed $547 million budget is a slight increase over last year and it doesn't raise the tax rate.  That said, the tax bill of the typical single-family homeowner could still go up more than five percent. That's a product of the city's complicated property tax structure that has for years shielded homeowners from their full tax liabilities.  It's also worth noting, as mayors for years have done, that about half of the city's real estate is tax-exempt.   Because of that, Segarra eventually conceded that some city taxpayers could see higher bills. "Not because we're spending any more money in terms of overall spending -- we're going back to 2008 and 2009 spending -- but because of that factor, yes, you might see an increase in that area." And, by the end, Segarra asked those gathered to relax. "Thank you very much. And smile, it's not that bad, it's a good budget." Segarra's budget will now be considered by the Hartford city council. For WNPR, I'm Jeff Cohen.`