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Local lawmaker concerned with changes to PILOT program

A bill aimed at helping welfare recipients with liens on their properties and to steer more funding to communities with non-taxable property cleared the Senate by a bipartisan vote of 28-7. The legislation, which already passed in the House of Representatives.

New Milford Senator Craig Miner raised concerns about another provision in the bill that would boost state funding for Connecticut cities by making changes to the payment in lieu of taxes program for property exempt from local property taxes, such as hospitals, colleges and state-owned properties. He noted how an agreement has not yet been reached on how to balance the next two-year state budget.

The concept, first proposed by Senate President Martin Looney, creates three tiers of municipalities for new, minimum state PILOT grants. The General Assembly would need to appropriate at least $143 million in additional state revenue every year to fully implement the new plan, something some Republicans questioned would actually happen.

There was bipartisan support for a provision in the bill that would end the requirement forcing welfare recipients to pay back a portion of the government aid they received if they receive through a lien placed on their property. When the bill passed the House, Lamont said the legislation “removes a barrier to financial success” by repealing liens on the property of public assistance recipients and ultimately giving all families across Connecticut “a fair shot at success.”

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Todd Schnitt

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