A recommendation made to Mayor Erin Stewart by the Board of Finance and Taxation on how the city should spend its money is known as the first part of the New Britain budget process. But this year things look different than in previous ones.
“The city is on an unsustainable path of spending,” Carlo Carlozzi, the Common Council majority leader said.
“I’ve never seen a resolution like this before,” Mayor Erin Stewart said.
This time, the recommendation includes a $13 million increase to the budget.
“It’s not the largest increase I have seen in my years here,” Stewart said.
While Stewart says the rise comes from various tax rate calculations, city council members say taxpayers can’t afford it.
“We have tried over and over and over again to reduce the tax burdens on the citizens of New Britain. It’s been falling on deaf ears,” Carlozzi said.
Common Council Majority leader Carlo Carlozzi called on the mayor Friday, through a resolution, to reduce the city’s spending in order to prevent a 10 percent property tax hike being passed on to residents.
“What that means is there has to be cuts at City Hall, the mayor has refused to do that over and over and over again,” Carlozzi said.
Stewart says the mill rate increase proposed by the Board of Finance and Taxation leaves her to find where she can cut $25 million from the budget to help offset a potential tax hike.
“I go through this budget line item by line item try my best every year to present the council with what I feel is the best budget possible for the taxpayers and the citizens of New Britain,” Stewart said.
Stewart has until mid-April to present her proposed budget to council but Carlozzi says councilmembers will now discuss their resolution at next week’s council meeting.
“It’s very complicated, it’s not just as simple as adding and subtracting the difference between this year‘s budget and the proposed next year’s budget," Stewart said.
“She needs to take the big cuts that need to happen at City Hall whatever it takes to get there we need to do it,” Carlozzi said.