Open Forum

Looking for a state budget? Don’t hold your breath. However, many towns and cities are prepared to wait, at least for a little while.

Bristol’s police union president says that recent concessions were less about money and more about politics.

Massachusetts is now doubting the usefulness of its film tax credit. Someone get Jim Amann on that.

Faculty retirements mean larger class sizes at state colleges.

Norwich celebrated 350 years with a parade.

What else is going on?

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10 responses to “Open Forum

  1. Looking for a state budget? Don’t hold your breath. However, many towns and cities are prepared to wait, at least for a little while.

    It’s unfortunate that the Democrat leadership in the legislature refuses to face reality. People are fed up with runaway spending and will not accept tax increases.

    The sooner Donovan and Williams realize this, the sooner they’ll be able to present a budget that the Governor will sign. Williams can barely get 19 votes in the Senate. Last time around, the 19th vote came essentially by bribing Andrew MacDonald with extra money for Stamford. Like Stamford needs extra money.

  2. AndersonScooper

    Brenda, I love when you pretend small tax increases would be the end of the world for Connecticut.

    Do you remember that last session your own Republican governor tried to institute a 10% increase to the state income tax?

    If Rell had wanted to be honest, and led this state by telling everyone that taxes will need to go up, (at least for the short term), then we might have had a budget by now.

    Instead we were given the grand lie by Grandma Fibber, and now this prolonged fiasco.

  3. So how long before we see I.O.U’s just like in California?

    And Pension Funds “Cook the Books”, no kidding!

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124683573382697889.html

    Highlights from above….

    “Public employee pension plans are plagued by overgenerous benefits, chronic underfunding, and now trillion dollar stock-market losses. Based on their preferred accounting methods — which discount future liabilities based on high but uncertain returns projected for investments — these plans are underfunded nationally by around $310 billion.”

    Some public pension administrators have a strategy, though: Keep taxpayers unsuspecting. The Montana Public Employees’ Retirement Board and the Montana Teachers’ Retirement System declare in a recent solicitation for actuarial services that “If the Primary Actuary or the Actuarial Firm supports [market valuation] for public pension plans, their proposal may be disqualified from further consideration.”

    “The Government Accounting Standards Board, which sets guidelines for public pension reporting, does not currently call for reporting the market value of public pension liabilities. The board announced last year a review of its position regarding market valuation but says the review may not be completed until 2013.

    This is too long for state taxpayers to wait to find out how many trillions they owe.”

    Mr. Biggs is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

    Maybe it’s time to phase out taxpayer funded pension plans?

  4. wtfdnucsailor

    This Thursday, Old Saybrook will vote on whether to postpone the 2008 revaluation to 2011. This will have the effect of delaying a tax increase for around fifty percent of home owners.

    Delaying the revaluation would mean the tax rate would be set at 17.2 mills and property owners would receive tax bills based on last year’s property values.

    The town would toss out the work it did for the 2008 statistical revaluation – an in-house process that cost about $150,000 – and begin preparing for the more involved physical revaluation, required every 10 years, at a cost of about $500,000 to $600,000, according to First Selectman Michael Pace.

    Should residents vote to keep the 2008 revaluation, the tax rate for 2009-10 would drop from the current 16.69 mills to an expected 13.2 mills.

    What should the Old Saybrook voters decide?

  5. If Rell had wanted to be honest, and led this state by telling everyone that taxes will need to go up, (at least for the short term), then we might have had a budget by now.

    Thanks Scooper, now we know that Rell needs to raise taxes to get your approval. That being the case, I hope you never approve of her.

  6. Do you remember that last session your own Republican governor tried to institute a 10% increase to the state income tax?

    Yes. Do you remember the backlash?

    Raising taxes is not what the State wants, and the Governor is right to push back on any attempts to do so. If she doesn’t, who will?

  7. Raising taxes is not what the State wants, and the Governor is right to push back on any attempts to do so. If she doesn’t, who will?

    Jack, I hope you’re right about the state not wanting tax increases although this is Connecticut where we have politicians that pander to a bitter underclass that are demanding more and more entitlements.

  8. johningreenwich

    What should the Old Saybrook voters decide?

    I think Old Saybrook votors should learn that revaluations don’t change tax rates so when the mill rate goes down it is only because of an offsetting increase in the total value of all properties. If a bad revaluation is done, it results in some people unfairly “winning” and some unfairly “losing” in the game of property values. This not only isn’t fair, but it results in lots of people challenging their valuation. Old Saybrook votors should probably reject the reval because home values are in a terrible state of flux now.

  9. Brenda, I love when you pretend small tax increases would be the end of the world for Connecticut.

    I didn’t say it “would be the end of the world” I’m just saying that a majority of the voters in Connecticut would be upset with tax increases.
    I honestly don’t remember Rell’s proposed tax increase but I’d imagine it was met with lots of resistance which is probably why thankfully she abandoned it. That was a good move, one where I hope Williams and Donovan will follow her wise lead.

  10. AndersonScooper

    Brenda, Rell’s property tax relief initiative was abandoned only when the Democrats couldn’t agree on who was to get what.

    And Rell did such a bad job of selling it that no one even noticed when it went down in flames.

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