OFFERS 5th CONSECUTIVE BUDGET WITHOUT INCREASING TAXES
STRATFORD – Mayor Laura R. Hoydick officially delivered her proposed operating budget for Fiscal Year 2023 to the Stratford Town Council on Friday. The $252 million budget proposal represents the fifth year in a row the Mayor has proposed a budget without a tax increase, and offers a very slight mill rate reduction for residents of Stratford, lowering it to 39.46.
“While we find ourselves at the beginning of 2022 sincerely hoping we have turned a corner in the COVID-19 pandemic, there are hard pandemic-related realities that we continue to face – both on a human level, and an economic one,” said Mayor Hoydick. “Stratford is resilient on both levels, with a significant increase in grand list growth, and major economic development initiatives coming to the fore, we are continuing Stratford on its positive economic path as a great place to live and work.”
Hoydick said that despite the continuing difficult economic climate in Connecticut, Stratford saw an overall growth of the Grand List of 3.87% (or $197.5 million) over the previous year – a significant rebound following the previous year’s COVID-stunted growth of 1.89%. The budget also includes $5.7 million in revenue recovery from the American Rescue Program. It funds all major departments at requested levels, and funds the town workforce at the same level while adjusting for increases in employee benefits per labor contracts.
The Mayor noted that this budget year presented some significant challenges, as her administration worked to close a $4.7 million hole created when the state failed to fund all communities receiving funds from the distressed community program as was promised. Stratford did not receive the planned-on funds last year, and they are not in the Governor’s proposed state budget this year. Additionally, the budget needed to absorb the current growing 7.5% inflation rate.
The proposed budget represents a 4.24% increase on the town operations side, and a 2.5% increase for the Board of Education. Town services represent 50.4% of the budget, and Education represents 49.4%, with Special EMS Assessment representing 0.2%.
The Town Council will now begin its review of the budget. “I look forward to collaborating with the Town Council as I have in past years, in producing a budget that serves Town residents best,” said the Mayor. The Town Council will now begin deliberations on the Town Budget. The Charter requires them to produce a finished budget by May 12, 2022.
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