Towns and cities have it rough. The state can cut off grants to municipalities to help balance the budget, but towns and cities have no recourse other than raising taxes or cutting services. Unsurprisingly, over 200 municipal leaders were in Hartford yesterday to make the case )(CTNJ) for more state aid (Courant).
Among the options being proposed was a proposal for a local sales tax, similar to what mayors were proposing last year.
It’s worth remembering that while legislators may have to choose (eventually) between laying off workers, consolidating agencies or raising taxes, town and city leaders have the arguably more thankless task of either raising already high property taxes (and, in some towns, submitting that proposal to a very irritated electorate) or cutting teachers, police and other town workers, closing schools, or slashing other town services like, say, library hours.
Several proposals have been made in the legislature this year to provide strong incentives for regionalization. However, I can’t imagine that they’ll be enough to make a significant difference this year.