A no property tax increase plan is being proposed for the coming fiscal year in Danbury. Mayor Mark Boughton said during a presentation to the City Council last night that families with multiple vehicles may actually see a property tax cut because existing vehicles will have a lower assessment values. Boughton says the $261.5 million plan is measured and thoughtful, addressing the needs of the community. There's $4.5 million included in the plan for paving.
He says the budget drivers include retiree medical payments, pension contributions, wages and benefits, and school spending. There will be $5.1 million more in the education budget. School spending makes up little more than half the City budget. For the first time, a student impact free of $550,000 from a development at the Matrix property owner will go directly to the Board of Ed.
As for public safety, the vehicle rollover plan for the Police Department will continue, along with Taser replacements. On the fire side, a safety officer will be on duty 24-7 to alleviate some call volume with bigger equipment freed up. $2.2 million is included in the plan to rebuild the runways at the airport. The City will be purchasing a rescue vessel for Candlewood Lake, which police and fire will have access to. Boughton says they learned during macroburst that when trees are down, sometimes the easiest way to get into communities is via the lake.
Boughton further explained the spending in the budget. About 4.1 percent of every taxpayer dollar goes to public works, the same percentage goes to general government operations. 1.2 percent is for culture and recreational and .1 percent for contingency fund. Debt service--to replace boilers, roofs and building expansions is 6.4 percent., Pensions and other benefits equal 15.6 percent. Public Safety is 14.4 percent. Some funding goes to capital projects, the contingency account and other areas. The balance, 51.6 percent, is educational spending.