Bridgeport, CT –Mayor Joe Ganim today approved and signed the 2018-2019 fiscal year budget that was presented by the City Council. The FY2019 budget reflects a $9.8 million decrease in appropriations when compared to FY2018 while allocating an additional $1.7million for our libraries as well as a $1million increase in education funds. Prudent actions taken by the administration will also save millions of dollars by refinancing debt and municipal spending. The total FY2018-2019 Council Adopted General Fund Operating budget amount is $557.4 million versus $567.3 million in FY2017-2018.
“Due to prior year reductions in state funding, my administration knew it would be challenging to balance this FY2019 budget.” said Mayor Ganim. “Public safety along with education and enrichment continue to be my priorities for our residents and wouldn’t be compromised. Through rigorous actions taken by the city council following their budget hearings and additional savings in operating costs developed by our administration we were able to fund the Library and Board of Education with an additional $2.7 million, all while holding the line on property taxes. Through the efforts of my administrative team and the council this budget finances the services and resources our residents and students need for improved quality of life.”
City Council President, Aidee Nieves stated, “The Budget & Appropriation Committee, with the support of many council members that attended multiple budget hearings worked diligently throughout the budget process to produce a budget that was able to close the 6.7-Million-dollar gap, and provide $1 Million to the Board of Education without the risk of cutting constituent services.”
In addition to the efforts of the administration and City Council, our legislative delegation was also able to recover $3.1Million in motor vehicle tax reimbursement funds for FY18. The state had been withholding this money but due to pressure from our legislative delegation and the Mayor, as well as legislators from Torrington and Hamden, the state Office of Policy and Management agreed to relinquish these funds for Bridgeport. This also has a positive impact on FY19 budget as our delegation also secured legislation written into the budget that required the state to reimburse Bridgeport and two other cities at a more accurate mill rate.
FY 2019 BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS
- Holds the line on property tax mill rate
- Fully funds public safety essentials with a new recruit class to join the police department after academy training
- Provides municipal appropriation increase to Board of Education budget of $1Million
- State proposed increase to Board of Education budget of $2-3Million
- Including alliance funds to support evacuee students from Puerto Rico
- Achieves $5Million per year in savings from refinancing debt
- Mayoral commitment to save $2.3Million per year in attrition and cost savings
- Funds to upgrade and modernize technology and communications that will increase public safety systems
- Eliminates over $2Million in non-essential budget lines as analyzed by City Council and City Administration