Legislative Council Approves Budget

The newly-approved 2011-12 town budget will raise taxes for the average homeowner by only about $40 for the year and give some homeowners a tax cut.

The Legislative Council Thursday approved its 2011-12 town and education budget that sets the mill rate at 34.66 mills but increases taxes only slightly for the average homeowner.

The current 31.16 mill rate will go up 3.6 mills but for most homeowners, that won't translate into a large tax increase because 90 percent of homes decreased in value after last year's revaluation. But for the 10 percent whose values went up, taxes will rise.

They also will rise for business owners whose assessments also increased as a result of revaluation.

"For the first time in recent Hamden history, commercial assessments went up, shifting some of the tax burden from residential to commercial," Chief Administrative Officer Curt Balzano Leng said.

But that won't be the case for most homeowners, he said. The average home in Hamden carries an assessment of $167,510, he said. That homeowner will pay only about $40 more next year, less than $4 a month.

The 34.66 mill rate means that property owners will pay $34.66 for every $1,000 worth of assessment. A property assessed at $200,000 will pay 200 x 34.66, or $6,932.

That same property, assessed at $220,000 before revaluation, paid $6,855 this year. That tax bill will rise by $77 this year.

It was in large part because of concessions made by six of seven town union bargaining units that taxes were able to be kept level, Leng said. The dispatcher's union was the only one not to agree to concessions, he said, and will likely see layoffs as a result.

But the other unions all agreed to accept furlough days except for the police and fire unions, which are by law not able to give back days. Instead the Police Union agreed to give up a number of paid holidays, saving $400,000. That was $40,000 more than Mayor Scott Jackson had requested, Leng said, and that extra savings will be applied to the town's pension fund.

The Fire Department has agreed to operate next year on a zero percent increased budget, Leng said.

Non-union town workers also are taking furlough days, Leng said, saving $189,000. Jackson declined to accept any raise, he said.

The concessions still need union approval, Leng said, which is expected to come soon.



Don Charles May 13, 2011 at 11:59 AM
Any third grader could have passed this budget as they did. Too much money given to the BOE not enough put into the Pension fund. Oh well what else is new in our once wonderful town that just keeps going down the drain with the way the Council and the BOE runs Hamden.
George Levinson May 13, 2011 at 03:51 PM
The bad news is the mil rate has gone up 10%. The "good" news is that your house is worth 10% less, so the dollar amount of your taxes is the same. The only reason this happened is because commercial values went up, so Hamden businesses are paying a lot bigger share. The big story is that the unions continue to get their sweetheart deal on health care and pensions. The administration failed to get any meaningful reductions in future commitments for health care and pensions. Health care is already "pay as you go" in Hamden. Within 6 or 7 years pension will be too. The only way to reduce the town's burden is to reduce the future commitments to the town workers. That will only happen when the town learns to play hardball with the unions. Unfortunately, kicking the can down the road, like was done this year, just doesn't work.
Suzanne M. Miller May 13, 2011 at 04:16 PM
While the mil rate climbs, Hamden continues to create obstacles for businesses to open, or even maintain operations here. Citizens need to make their voices heard regarding the tax and regulatory burdens that prevent the healthy growth of the business tax base.


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