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Group working on new plan to help Connecticut municipalities

Connecticut's largest association of cities and towns is coming up with a plan to increase regional cooperation and review new taxing options.

 

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities intends to have a comprehensive package of proposals "designed to break new ground" ready in December. The 2017 legislative session opens in January.  CCM on Monday announced a new 13-member State-Local Partnership Panel.

 

The CCM President, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, will lead the panel.  He says the focus is on creating policies that deal with property taxes, local revenue diversification and regional service delivery. The panel plans to expand the work of the 2015 State Tax Panel and increase cooperation between municipalities.

 

Boughton says the legislature and Governor are going to be facing a daunting task with the next biennium budget, with a nearly $5 billion deficit. He says that trickles down to cities and towns, which don't have enough money to provide the services that residents want and ask for.

 

The panel is hoping to answer three questions; what services do they want in Connecticut, how will they be paid for and who pays for them.  Boughton says that will provide a roadmap to ensure Connecticut is on a sustainable path forward.

 

There's been about half a dozen reports over the last several years by various groups, Blue Ribbon Panels and commissions created by the legislature.  CCM Executive Director Joe DeLong says the group's recommendations "won't be another study that will be filed on an office shelf."

 

The panel also includes Coventry Town Manager John Elsesser, East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, Litchfield First Selectman Leo Paul, Mansfield Town Manager Matt Hart, New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, New Haven Mayor Toni Harp, North Haven First Selectman Michael Freda, Norwich Mayor Deb Hinchey, Stamford Mayor David Martin, Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary, and Wethersfield Town Manager Jeff Bridges.

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Dave Rinelli

Local Headlines