In accordance with the New Britain City Charter, I recently presented my proposed budget to the Common Council during the first Council meeting of April. Over the past several weeks I have been pouring over budget requests and crunching numbers until I was able to create a budget for the City of New Britain that minimizes the financial impact of the state-mandated revaluation process on taxpayers, while responsibly balancing the wants and the needs of our community.
This was certainly one of the most challenging budgets I have ever done, largely due to the mandatory reval that came in the midst of a volatile market and rising inflation. While these factors were outside of my control I still had a duty to protect our taxpayers as much as possible, which is why I am proud to have been able to lower the mill rate by 23% from 49.5 to 38.2. This new proposed mill rate will shield residents from significant financial burden due to increased property values, while still increasing investment in education, providing the quality of life our residents deserve, and maintaining the level of services this community expects from its government.
Last year at this time I wrote a column about how the City of New Britain was finally able to reach a place of financial stability, and my proposed budget for this year maintains that stability even on the heels of unprecedented economic times. The budget I proposed to the Common Council responsibly balances the needs and wants of our residents while providing an additional $5 million to the Board of Education, funding a $70 million complete renovation of Holmes Elementary School, avoiding layoffs, meeting all of the City’s fiduciary obligations, and putting $2.5 million in the Tax Stabilization Fund to help ensure continued protection for our taxpayers in years to come.
Now that I have presented my proposed budget to the Common Council, Council members have until June 7th to make any changes and adopt a final budget. Each subcommittee will review my proposed budget during their public meetings, and then the Council will come back together to create the final budget document. Residents can view my budget presentation under the Mayor’s Office tab on the City’s website at www.newbritainct.gov.
Fiscal responsibility has been a cornerstone of my administration, and the proposed budget I put forth to the Common Council this year reflects that. My primary responsibility as Mayor is to oversee the financial wellbeing of our City and ensure the taxes our residents pay with their hard-earned money are spent in a way that results in the greatest positive impact for the entire community. This is a responsibility I take incredibly seriously, and I feel this budget will continue to give us all the quality of life we have come to expect, while maintaining affordability for the blue-collar, working class residents who are truly the heart and soul of this great City.