In their 2019 annual report to the General Assembly, the Connecticut Auditors of Public Accounts said that some third-party vendors are denying them access to information necessary to properly audit state and federal programs, despite being contractually obligated to do so. The auditors noted one instance in particular in which ...
Warning Signs: Assessing Municipal Fiscal Health in Connecticut
It is our local governments that we look to for many of the basic functions of government – including education, public safety, and public health. But in Connecticut, the cost of municipal government is driven up by state mandates, inflating our property tax bills and making it harder for people to live here.
This study examines the fiscal health of Connecticut’s 169 municipalities. It does so by measuring several factors — including debt costs, pension and retiree healthcare liabilities, savings, and recent changes in property values and unemployment.
The findings are a warning that problems could lie ahead for many of Connecticut’s cities and towns. Eight municipalities received a score that indicates they are in severe fiscal distress, while another 53 received scores considered marginal.
Most of Connecticut’s largest cities fell below the red line. These cities have many things in common – including high poverty levels, relatively high unemployment, and greater union political power.
But it isn’t just Connecticut’s large cities that are struggling – the municipality with the lowest score was Hamden, home to Quinnipiac University. This town is plagued by high pension liabilities and high debt.
All municipal leaders in Connecticut need greater authority to limit the growth of local property taxes, which are among the highest in the nation. State lawmakers could provide meaningful relief by reforming the collective bargaining and binding arbitration laws that are hamstringing municipal budgets across our state.
We hope this report is both useful and instructive as we move forward in trying to restore fiscal sanity to Connecticut.
House Democrats, including Transportation Committee co-chair Rep. Roland Lemar, D-New Haven, are holding campaign fundraisers on the day of an information hearing on Gov. Lamont’s new transportation plan, which would install truck-only tolls on Connecticut highways. Lemar is scheduled to be at the “Winter Fundraiser” from noon till 1:30, a ...