STRATFORD – Mayor Laura R. Hoydick officially delivered her proposed operating budget for Fiscal Year 2022 to the Stratford Town Council today. The $240.4 million budget proposal represents the fourth year in a row of mill rate decreases for residents of Stratford, lowering it from 39.64 to 39.60.
The Mayor noted that while other regional towns and cities have been forced to increase local taxes, particularly while mounting local responses to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Stratford stands out as a community that has held the line once again without raising taxes on residents.
“We are pleased with our economic and financial successes,” said Mayor Hoydick, “though we cannot separate our economic fortunes from the ongoing pandemic. The human cost of this disease is underscored by the vast economic damage it has wrought – worldwide, and here in Stratford. Despite the State of Connecticut’s continued weak economic growth, Stratford has yielded meaningful growth, which is a credit to our economic development and redevelopment initiatives and the increasing desirability of living and working here in Stratford.”
Hoydick said that despite the difficult overall economic climate in Connecticut, Stratford saw an overall growth of the Grand List of 1.89% over the previous year, with over 145 new businesses opening in town. She added that critical long-term adjustments to funding the town’s pension and bonded debt result in savings of $9.1million over the bond terms while refinancing has created $3 million in budgetary relief in FY 2022, and $2.7 million each in FY 2023, FY 2024, and $560k in FY 2025.
Stratford has been slated to receive roughly $25 million in federal relief plus $21 million for the school district as part of the American Rescue Plan, but it remains to be determined how those funds will be utilized. Provisions of the Act do not allow municipalities to use these federal funds directly for local tax relief.
The proposed budget represents a 3.96% increase on the town operations side, and a 2.25% increase for the Board of Education. Town services represent 49.9% of the budget, and Education represents 50%, with Special EMS Assessment representing 0.1%.
“The Town Council will now begin its review of the budget, and as in past years, I look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with them on producing a budget that serves Town residents best,” said Mayor Hoydick. The Town Council will now begin deliberations on the Town Budget. The Charter requires them to produce a budget by May 12, 2020.
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