Lobby Group Wants More Aid to Cities, Towns

By Stuart, Christine | New Haven Register (New Haven, CT), January 31, 2014 | Go to article overview

Lobby Group Wants More Aid to Cities, Towns


Stuart, Christine, New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)


HARTFORD » A spokesman for the state's biggest municipal lobby said Monday he doesn't expect a proposal to eliminate the car tax this year, but it would be nice if lawmakers were to decide to distribute some excess revenue to cities and towns.

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities "is calling on the General Assembly to maintain and if possible expand state aid commitment to cities and towns," CCM spokesman Kevin Maloney said.

If there were an opportunity to do more with about $940 million in excess revenues reported this month by budget analysts, then Maloney said he would like to see the money applied to the PILOT, or Payment-in-lieu-of-Taxes, program or additional education aid.Last year, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy level-funded the Education Cost Sharing grant, which is typically the largest grant municipalities receive from the state.

However, municipalities have argued for years the formula is underfunded to the tune of more than $1 billion.

CCM is calling for an increase in the ECS foundation level to reflect the cost of educating students. It also wants the legislature to phase in full funding of the formula over time. Some CCM members are calling for these changes to be made through a landmark school funding lawsuit expected to go to trial later this year.Malloy may have appeased municipalities last year by level- funding education, but disappointed local elected officials by proposing to eliminate the local car tax, which brings municipalities about $700 million a year.

House Speaker Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, later proposed phasing out the current system through which cities and towns charge different tax rates and replacing it with a statewide car tax, but there wasn't enough support in the Senate for the idea and it died. …

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