Mayor's Monday Message|
The Board of Aldermen will meet at 7 p.m. next Tuesday, May 29 to vote on the City budget for fiscal year 2012-13. These are challenging times for New Haven families, taxpayers, and employees, but the difficult decisions and prudent financial choices we have made over the past several years have made it possible this year to produce a budget that continues to advance our priorities as a City while decreasing our mill rate. I believe this budget strikes the right balance between necessary services, fiscal discipline, and accountability to the taxpayers of New Haven. This budget:
• Decreases the mill rate from 43.9 to 38.88;
• Does not take any new revenue from existing taxpayers, and in fact will result in a tax decrease for 72 percent of homeowners, and will reduce taxes on ALL motor vehicles and business personal property;
• Increases expenditures by less than 2.4 percent to $486.4 million, less than the growth in the Consumer Price Index;
• Preserves core City services and functions such as senior centers, parks, and libraries;
• Supports early learning by identifying capital funding to demolish the old Helene Grant building and construct a new early childhood learning center;
• Supports school choice and college attendance by identifying funding to renovate the New Haven Academy building on Orange Street, where 100 percent of graduates are accepted to college;
• Supports community policing by increasing sworn staffing in the Police Department to 467; and
• Requires no City layoffs, but eliminates 119 Board of Education positions.
Earlier this year, I announced that the City was seeking state legislative authorization to introduce a Homeowner Fairness Initiative to phase-in property value increases for owner-occupants from last year's property revaluation. While 7 out of 10 residential property owners will see a tax decrease in this budget, the Homeowner Fairness Initiative would have cushioned the tax increase for the remaining owner-occupants, some of whom saw significant increases in their property values in the latest revaluation. While the State Senate unanimously passed the measure, it was not brought up for a vote in the House. At this time, there is no viable alternative other than full implementation of the 2011 revaluation.
We will continue to move our City forward by continuing to grow the Grand List, and by continuing to invest in public education and public safety. This budget accomplishes these goals, while also being mindful of the hard choices families are making in this difficult economic climate. I hope you can join me in supporting this budget.
Memorial Day Events in New Haven
The Veteran's Affairs Advisory Committee will host a series of Memorial Day events this Sunday, May 27. At 1 p.m. at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Long Wharf, Retired Colonel Kenneth Gertz will conduct a ceremony, featuring guest speaker Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Brooks. Brooks is the Senior Army Instructor for the Hillhouse High School Junior ROTC. At 3 p.m., I will join Master Sergeant Frank Alvarado and Lieutenant Colonel Brooks for a wreath placing ceremony at the War Memorial on the New Haven Green. The Shubert Theater will host their 14th annual free Memorial Day Concert featuring Orchestra New England and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro at 5 p.m. All are invited to attend the day's events.
Columbus Day Parade Kick-Off
The Greater New Haven Columbus Day Parade will be in New Haven this year, and the Parade Committee will be hosting a kick-off celebration from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, June 6 at the Annex Club. Tickets are $25 in advance, and $30 at the door. There will be entertainment and prizes, as well as dinner and dessert. At this event, West Haven Mayor John Picard will officially pass the parade flag to myself, on behalf of the City of New Haven. We will also be announcing this year's parade Grand Marshals. For tickets and reservations, call Paul Criscuolo at 203-488-7571.
City Now Accepting Applications For Rent Rebate Program
The City of New Haven has begun accepting applications for the State of Connecticut's Rent Rebate Program. Due to the high volume of applications for this program, residents interested in applying for this program must do so by appointment only. The Rent Rebate hotline is 203-946-8550.
The state program provides a reimbursement for Connecticut renters who are elderly or totally disabled, and whose incomes do not exceed certain limits. Persons renting an apartment or room, or living in cooperative housing or a mobile home may be eligible for this program. Rebates can be up to $900 for married couples and $700 for single persons. The rebate amount is based on a graduated income scale and the amount of rent and utility payments (excluding telephone) made in the calendar year prior to the year in which the renter applies.
The program is available to residents age 65 or older as of December 31, 2011, or residents at least 18 by December 31, 2011 who have been found by a government agency to be permanently and totally disabled. Income must be no more than $32,000 for single individuals, or $39,500 for married couples. Individuals receiving state cash assistance are not eligible.
Last year, 4,654 New Haven residents received $2.3 million dollars.
Contact Name: Elizabeth Benton
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Phone: 203-946-8200