People in Meriden have had enough of tax increases.
On Thursday, they sent a strong message to city leaders to cut costs, and it comes just weeks after a historic referendum where voters rejected the city budget.
The mayor said over the last couple weeks city officials have been scrambling to put together a new budget. There are possible options: including a zero tax increase and a two percent increase.
On Thursday, people let the Meriden City Council know what they think of city spending. And many don’t want to pay any more.
“No tax increase whatsoever. How are we going to do that? We’re going to work together,” said Steven Cardillo of Meriden.
This comes just weeks after voters overwhelmingly rejected the $198 million budget in a first-ever referendum. That plan would have meant a nearly five percent increase to the property tax.
After having their say, on Thursday they brought out the scalpel. Some believe there’s fat to cut across the city.
“We’re going to start with City Hall first, layoffs, furlough days,” said Cardillo.
There were some in the crowd who feared slashing the budget could hurt important services and organizations.
But the message to go lean has been heard by city leaders.
“That’s to find cuts, find savings somewhere in this budget. And realizing that we are going to have to sacrifice some services somewhere along the way. That’s going to be the difficulty, find the balances,” said Mayor Kevin Scarpati of Meriden.
Next Tuesday the city is expected to reveal potential budget ideas.
The council plans to vote on a revised budget on Thursday.