The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities says they need to be part of the state budget strategy sessions to help cope with the deficit which refuses to disappear. Mayors and Selectmen claim lawmakers keep saying they have crafted a deficit mitigation plan that won't raise taxes, but CCM President Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton says it could impact property taxes.
Boughton says some of the concepts discussed recently are detrimental to cities and towns and will force them to raise taxes to cover services.
Boughton says municipalities should be an equal partner in talks with the governor and lawmakers as they discuss how to restructure state spending to end the continuing deficit threat. Boughton, says they have been locked out of the process for too long.
Municipal officials will tackle the problem on their own in the coming months. CCM plans to develop its own state budget and present recommendations to the legislature. They want to reexamine the relationship between state and local government, and then come up with a series of steps the legislature needs to take.
Boughton says unfunded mandates are a continual discussion, and not one gets repealed. He says CCM would be happy at this point if the state just stopped passing new mandates.