CCM Board Unanimously Endorses Package Of Initiatives Presented by State Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth
Friday, March 9, 2018
Contact: Kevin Maloney (203) 710-3486
The 27-member Board of Directors of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM), at its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 6, voted unanimously to endorse the collective package of recommendations presented a week ago by the State’s Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth -- aimed at restoring lasting financial stability to the state budget and to the critical fiscal partnership between the state and towns.
The CCM Board emphasized that the 2018 General Assembly needs to take action on the full package and not take up some initiatives and disregard others.
The board action immediately followed a meeting of CCM’s Legislative Committee, where over 60 mayors, first selectmen and city/town managers were addressed by Joseph Aresimowicz, Speaker of the House, and Themis Klarides, Republican House Leader. Both state leaders emphasized that the commission’s recommendations represented bold answers to the biggest problems facing Connecticut and that the package as a whole needs to be given serious consideration by the General Assembly.
CCM Executive Director emphasizes
“Connecticut has long been the land of steady habits, but the precarious fiscal condition that still plagues the state budget demands that Connecticut change key core public policies – now,” said Joe DeLong, CCM Executive Director. “Much like the This Is Different Report released by CCM, the commission’s set of recommendations are significantly different and entirely reasonable. We can wait no longer for substantive change that will set the State on a sustainable economic path that will benefit hard-pressed residents and businesses.”
Important municipal assistance back to top
Key elements of the plan that will help towns and cities include:
- Allow towns, COGs or a consortia of COGs, the option to raise local revenue for capital projects by authorizing them to impose supplemental, time limited, sales or property taxes by special referenda.
- Allow towns, or through their local COG, to charge fees for Services in Lieu of Taxes (SILOTS). These would be imposed on non-profit colleges and hospitals, while allowing these institutions to maintain their property tax exempt status.
- Require the State pay a higher PILOT payment to municipalities, especially central cities, on the properties it owns.
- Enable COGs to levy an additional sales tax of up to 0.5 percent for regional economic development and shared service arrangements.
- Permit towns to increase fees for use of the public rights of way, storm water fees, hotels, car rentals, restaurants and other services.
- Provide that non-union labor be permitted on rehabilitation projects costing under $1 million.
- Provide towns with a single neutral arbitrator for municipal labor negotiations.
- Protect a town’s fund balance of 15 percent or less from being used to pay for labor contract settlements.