Here is an update on the status of the State Budget and its impact on Fairfield. We will be finding out more in the days, weeks and months ahead, but here is what we know today.
1. There is a Renters Rebate program for elderly and disabled persons. This was funded, but not authorized to be spent in the recent State budget. The Senate has met and voted to authorize the funds to be spent, but towns are now required to pay for half the cost. In Fairfield’s case, we budgeted $100,000 in revenue reimbursements from the State for this program. We now have to find $50,000 in adjustments to pay for half this program. This amounts to an unfunded mandate.
2. There is an Elderly and Disabled Homeowners Tax Credit program. This program was NOT funded in the State budget. These tax credits have already been applied to our qualified residents’ 2017-2018 property tax bills. There doesn’t appear to be a solution coming from the State. We budgeted $414,000 in revenue reimbursements from the State for this program. This creates another hole in our budget and is another unfunded mandate.
3. It was announced in the news media that the State is falling short on its revenue projections. Last December when this happened, Fairfield was cut over $500,000 in municipal aid. We are waiting for the details of the impact of this shortfall on Fairfield.
4. Lastly, the Governor is letting the media know how difficult it will be to find the budgeted savings that are included in the recently passed budget. This could signal even more cuts to our town funding come springtime.
For all these reasons, I am taking a cautious approach. My administration continues to tightly manage costs and we are still keeping numerous capital projects on hold.
I will keep you updated as we learn more about the impact of the State’s budget and operations on our town.
Thanks for reading.