CCM launches simultaneous media campaigns to advance public's understanding of state aid and property taxes and CCM's collaborative efforts for towns and residents

Kevin Maloney (203) 710-3486

Joe DeLong (203) 747-0268

Wednesday January 13, 2016

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) today (Wednesday, January 13) announced that it is launching two simultaneous paid statewide media campaigns that will air over the next 30 days:

An education campaign targeted toward the general public, as the2016 General Assembly session unfolds, that highlights and analyzes the relationship between state aid and locally generated revenues and the resulting impact on property taxes and state mandates.

A campaign for the general public that advances CCM’s organizational rebranding and its collaborative efforts overall on behalf of towns and cities and their residents.

“We are seeking to raise the overall awareness of CCM’s role as a non-partisan advocacy group for Connecticut property taxpayers,” said Joe Delong, CCM Executive Director, “and to better explain the big part CCM plays at the state level regarding issues effecting such taxpayers. We are seeking to deliver these messages to a target population most likely to vote and to educate the electorate with an online display campaign which will click-through to a three and a half minute informational video about state aid and property taxes.”

The 30-second TV ad about CCM’s advocacy on behalf of taxpayers will begin airing Monday, January 18 and continue through Sunday, February14 across the four top-tiered broadcast stations – WFSB CH. 3, WVIT CH. 30, WTIC-FOX 61 and WTNH Ch. 8. Spots will be placed in early morning news, evening news, weekend morning news and late news. Cablevision will be used to reach viewers in Fairfield County -- with a mix of news networks including Bloomberg, CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, Headline News and Cable News12 -- the dominant local cable news network in Fairfield County carried on Cablevision.

CCM’s three and a half minute video on state aid and property taxes will be promoted through a targeted online advertising campaign utilizing behavioral tracking technologies, highlighted by click-through web banners with advocacy messaging. Initial online targeting includes sites most visited by adults 35-64 who are likely voters, homeowners and registered voters who are involved in or concerned with local issues. Web placements for this longer video will also be targeted toward custom sites related to news, politics, real estate, and personal finance.

CCM will also seek placements for this longer video on municipal websites across the state as well as the range of municipal social media pages.

Here is the link to the video on state aid and property taxes and the complete narrative -- https://youtu.be/7TWHJ2xNteI

As the General Assembly seeks ways to bring fiscal balance back to the State Budget, a fuller understanding of the relationship between the state government and our local communities is paramount.

Towns and cities across Connecticut generate large amounts of revenue through a variety of taxes that leave our communities and go directly to the State.

When Connecticut towns flourish economically, the State Budget is one of the main beneficiaries.

For communities to flourish, our local government must maintain many critical services such as public safety, infrastructure and education. If these services fall short, property values decline – businesses and residents move out -- and the local economy falters.

To maintain vital local services, our communities rely on the Governor and General Assembly to return enough of the locally-generated tax revenues. The practice of returning a portion of the revenues back to our hometowns is most commonly referred to as municipal aid. Think of it like this – We send the state a dollar and they give our town back 25 cents to help us do the things necessary locally to generate more tax dollars.

Since state lawmakers recognize they can’t fully fund municipal aid, they direct our town governments to make up the difference through local property taxes. That and the lack of providing other revenue sources for towns, has led Connecticut to some of the highest property taxes in the nation.

And here’s another scary part. Municipal aid cuts aren’t a spending reduction at all. It is the State’s way of shifting a greater burden back on our towns that still must maintain vital basic services. As a result, our communities must make up the difference in lost revenues the only way the State allows -- by increasing property taxes.

So, when State leaders choose to cut our refund on top of already underfunding public education by 600 million dollars, the General Assembly is really passing on a property tax increase. They’re just hoping we get lost in the smoke and mirrors.

Gone crazy yet?

Well there’s more. When state lawmakers want to adopt new policies they can’t afford to pay for, they often pass legislation “mandating” that local governments do their bidding. However, these new initiatives all cost money that the State can’t provide. So how does our community cover the cost? In Connecticut there’s only one way. Bet you can guess it. That’s right-- Increasing the property tax.

Let’s summarize….

The most regressive and harmful tax on our businesses and citizens is the property tax.

Connecticut, unlike other states, limits generating revenues locally – almost exclusively to the property tax.

Other revenues generated locally all go to the State and the State refunds a portion of those revenues and calls it municipal aid.

When this “municipal aid” is cut because the State needs more of OUR money, tax payers are asked to pay more through property taxes.

When the State cannot afford new initiatives they mandate cities and towns to do it for them…….forcing property tax increases.

Had enough?

Urge your state lawmakers to return back home more of the tax revenues generated in our communities or leave more of the tax money in our communities for our local governments in the first place; and don’t shift the burden of an overstressed state budget onto our towns through new unfunded state mandates.

Learn more about this and other important issues affecting home town Connecticut at CCM-CT.org.

And here is the link to the 30-second video ad about CCM and its collaborative efforts on behalf of towns and their residents, and the complete narrative of the ad. https://youtu.be/aqCFNl8vr6w

CCM the state’s largest nonpartisan association of municipal leaders represents towns and cities of all sizes from all corners of the state.

We come together for one common mission, to improve everyday life for every resident of Connecticut.

Best practices, objective research, and pooling buying power are just some of the ways we assist.

Finally we advocate at the state and federal levels on issues directing affecting local communities.

Find out more at ccm-ct.org.

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