Mayor Joseph P. Ganim
For Immediate Release For More Information:
May 27, 2016 Av Harris (203) 814-7992 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor Ganim, Bridgeport City Council Enact New Budget and Mil Rate for Fiscal Year 2017; Lowers Rate of Spending by $7,000,000 - Most Residential Homeowners to See Flat or Lower Taxes
$552 Million Balanced Budget Provides Funds for Hiring 100 New Police Officers; FY 2017 Mil Rate Set at 54.37 for Real Estate and Personal Property, 37 for Motor Vehicles
Bridgeport, CT – Mayor Joe Ganim today announced that he has signed a balanced $552,000,000 budget plan approved by the Bridgeport City Council at a special meeting Wednesday May 25, 2016. The budget reduces the city’s rate of spending by $7,000,000 and cuts the city workforce by more than 100 employees, achieved through attrition and early retirements. City Councilors have approved a new mil rate of 54.37 for real estate and personal property, while passing a 12% decrease in the mil rate for motor vehicles to 37, pursuant to a state mandated cap on auto taxes. Despite the mil rate on real and personal property rising for FY 2017 from the current level of 42.2, city officials estimate that nearly 65% of residential homeowners in Bridgeport will see flat or lower tax bills as a result of the recent property revaluation and the reduction in car taxes. That revaluation, based on 2015 numbers, reduced the grand list of overall property values in Bridgeport by more than $1.1 Billion.
“Since taking office I have had two major fiscal goals for the city of Bridgeport: erase a $20,000,000 deficit left by the previous administration and reduce the tax burden on residential homeowners. This budget accomplishes both,” said Mayor Ganim. “I want to thank the diligent work of my staff and city councilors who poured over the details of this spending plan in a challenged fiscal environment for the last few months. We worked very hard to reduce expenditures to keep the tax burden as low as possible. The proposal we have enacted will allow the city to invest in public safety and replenish the ranks of the dangerously undermanned police department. With the state holding its commitment to reduce auto taxes and increase municipal aid, most residential homeowners in Bridgeport will see flat or lower overall tax bills in the next fiscal year.”
The adopted FY 2017 provides level funding for the Bridgeport Board of Education, making up for more than $2.3 Million reductions in education and school transportation funding from the State of Connecticut. The budget also includes cuts to existing rates of spending of almost $7,000,000 while fully funding pension and other obligations mandated by statute, an important factor to protect the city’s bond ratings. The budget includes $4,000,000 in additional spending reductions on personnel costs that Mayor Ganim hopes to achieve through concessions from city employee labor unions. The final budget and mil rate resolution approved by the Bridgeport City Council is attached to this news release.