On target: Overall ’17 budget numbers meet financiers’ lid on 1.5% hike
Published 1:48 pm, Tuesday, February 9, 2016
A total municipal budget of $205.6 million proposed for 2016-17, with an overall 1.49 increase over current spending, has been forwarded to the Board of Finance for preliminary review.
The town-side budget proposed for the new fiscal year by First Selectman Jim Marpe comes in at $91.6 million, 0.8 percent more than this year’s budget, while the Board of Education on Feb. 1 recommended a $113.9 million budget, with a 2.04 percent rise.
Marpe complimented town department heads for helping to assemble a restrained spending package. "I think this reflects the direction that we heard from the chairman of the Board of Finance. His goal was to strive for an increase of 1 to 1.5 percent increase. We’ve certainly achieved that on the town side and overall," he said.
Board of Finance Chairman Brian Stern said last December that he hoped spending requests for the various elements of the overall budget would rise no more than 1.5 percent for new fiscal year.
After the Board of Finance finishes its review and formally recommends a budget for final action by the Representative Town Meeting, the panel will set a new tax rate for the 2016-17 fiscal year that starts July 1.
Following the financiers’ initial work session Monday, Marpe said, "My sense is that they appreciated the hard work that our department heads have gone to keep their spending increases as low as possible and, in some cases, even spending reductions."
Marpe will formally detail his budget to the Board of Finance on March 2 and then public hearings take place starting March 15. Marpe said the preliminary budget numbers are subject to change.
"There is the formal Board of Finance review and Representative Town Meeting review, so those numbers could change based on their feedback," Marpe said.