STAMFORD –After spending more than two months cocooned with the Boards of Finance and Representatives, Mayor Michael Pavia’s $495.8 million budget proposal for fiscal year 2013-14 is poised to emerge from the fourth floor of the Government Center as a $493.2 million spending package complete with a property tax increase.
The only question remaining, which will be decided by the Board of Finance at their mill rate setting meeting Tuesday, is how big the tax hike will be. Wait, how did we get here again?
February:Revaluation delivers a $5.5 billion hit to the city’s Grand List. The list of all taxable property in Stamford decrease 22.4 percent. The Board of Education unanimously passes a $245.8 million operating budget. The spending package represents a $9 million — or 3.86 percent increase — over last fiscal year.
March:Mayor Michael Pavia, who is not running for reelection, unveils his final budget proposal, calling for a 4.81 percent property tax increase to fund $495.8 million in operating expenses.
April:The Board of Finance cut $2 million from the city’s operating and education budgets, tentatively lowering the proposed property tax increase to 4.35 percent.
May:The Board of Representatives Fiscal Committee proposes cutting the operating and education budgets by $211,648. The full Board of Representatives then approves the cut, finalizing the city’s spending package at $493.2 million and tentatively lowering the property tax increase to 4.2 percent.
Tuesday: The Board of Finance meets at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth floor of the Government Center to finalize the city’s revenue and reserve funds and set the mill rate. Property tax bills go out July 1.
Wait, what’s in this budget?
- More teachers and money for school security upgrades.
- Millions in structural costs, like medical and retirement benefits.
- $4.2 million for police overtime spending, which surpassed $5 million for the first time last fiscal year.
- $47.8 million in debt service, representing a 7 percent increase over last fiscal year.