Hartford Reacts to Budget Gap

Caught between a weak economy and a strapped government, people in Hartford figure the city government's budget process will be a difficult one.

"Unheard of, perplexing," said Michael Henderson, who just moved to Hartford from Massachusetts. "If you think about it, the way the economy is and taxes being raised, it's scary."

The latest forecast from City Hall projects a $70 million budget deficit for the next fiscal year. If no spending is cut, the city would have to raise taxes on property owners nearly 30 percent.

"That's impossible," said Gailya Warren. "I don't think they could stand it."

In a statement last week, Mayor Pedro Segarra said he is exploring the sale of city-owned properties.  He said the source of more than half of the deficit is Hartford's obligation to city government employees' pensions and health insurance premiums.

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