(CBS Connecticut) — Mayor Luke Bronin today submitted his budget proposal for Hartford for next year, which includes a $60-million dollar spending increase, and a $39-million hole the city leader hopes to fill with money from the state.
“We have been for the better part of a year been shouting from the rooftops that the city of Hartford is facing a massive and immediate fiscal crisis,” Bronin said. ” Last year, we made deep cuts to deal with that crisis.”
Bronin says the city cannot cut its way to a balanced budget.
A $10-million dollar per year commitment from the city’s three biggest insurance companies will help.
After the corporate commitment, Bronin says the budget includes a $39-million hole. Bronin is hoping that amount will either be filled by some of the governor’s budget proposals that benefit Hartford, or by additional state funding to make up for some of the government or nonprofit-owned properties in the city that are not taxable.
But some of the governor’s proposals face an uncertain future at the General Assembly, and the state is facing its own budget deficit. State officials are looking for areas to cut, instead of increase their spending.
The budget totals almost $613-million, up from almost $60-million from the current year’s budget.
Bronin says the budget increase was driven by several factors, including a debt restructuring deal made by Pedro Segarra’s administration that pushed off city debt payments from past years into the next several years, contractual labor costs and retirement costs, and legal judgements against the city.
Bronin says there are no layoffs, and no changes to city tax rates, but a revaluation will increase the amount of money the city brings in from the property tax.
The city council would have to approve the budget before it could take effect.