Headline: Fighting for Funding for Hamden

April 5, 2018

Sen. George Logan, R-Ansonia, and state Rep. Michael D’Agostino, D-Hamden, are advocating for a fix to the problem during legislative session with H.B. 5324: An Act Concerning Municipal Funding.

“The impact of losing over $2 million of expected state revenue from the car tax reimbursement error has (had a) massive impact on Hamden,” Mayor Curt B. Leng said in a text message. “It’s forcing cut backs throughout Town departments in the existing fiscal year to reduce a deficit we’re already in and further effects us moving forward because it puts us in a position of ‘catch up’ in the next budget moving forward.”

On top of overall cutbacks in state aid, the reimbursement cut is an extra hit to the town and something many other cities and towns are not experiencing, said Logan, whose district includes Hamden.

The Office of Policy Management is holding $5 million that D’Agostino said he believed was allocated for the car tax reimbursement, but Appropriations Committee members said that money is considered part of the general fund.

“There’s money available but because of the overall financial crisis we have OPM won’t release it,” Logan said. “It’s left Hamden in a very tough pickle.”

Torrington and Bridgeport are experiencing similar situations and also advocating for larger reimbursements.

Of the $5 million that OPM is holding, D’Agostino said the three municipalities have agreed to share it if it’s released, with Hamden getting about $1 million from that pot.

“Those funds are available,” he said. “They don’t impact anyone else and they should be released.”

It’s going to hurt folks in so many areas in terms of property taxes, devastating impact all throughout Hamden, because now the town has to figure out how to make cuts in middle of the budget year,” Logan said, “and that is a very tall order.”