Budget approved.

Well, I guess it’s done. The taxpayers’ association isn’t contesting it. So we’re all going to dig deep and pay up.

I’m glad we’re not having another bitter fight, but, damn, I do wish there was a way to hold down the ever increasing property taxes. Are you listening, Jodi Rell? 

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7 Comments

Filed under West Hartford

7 responses to “Budget approved.

  1. I suspect that we’re headed into a few years of high inflation, during which taxes will have to go up substantially just to keep up with the value of the dollar. That’ll be brutal for people on fixed incomes, and will be brutal for anyone who has wages that don’t keep up with the inflation, but that’s what I think is going to happen.

    Thanks,
    -V.

  2. Lil P.

    I sure hope that’s not true. I’ll be scraping by at best if that happens. 😦

  3. TwoCents

    Actually most people are on fixed incomes. I know my wages didn’t go up last year. In fact the company I work for didn’t even provide a cost of living increase…wish the same could be said on the cost side of the equation. let see…oil at 118 a barrel, gas a $4.00, food & health care costs going through the roof….make perfect sense that the council looks for their 7%. Glad to hear Mayor Silfka and the rest of the council is looking out for us. Thanks for making the tough decisions folks.

  4. Well, and the town government is also paying more for gas and food and health care, aren’t they? More than half the bump in the school budget was transportation related (read, gas prices), and most of the rest was wage inflation (aka teacher retention).

    I know some people have picked up some decent raises this year, but although the raises look nice, they won’t buy any more rice or gasoline than last year’s smaller salary.

    Thanks,
    -V.

  5. RSisk

    Gas and Food? Not really.
    Energy represents about 2.5% of the budget and while it has gone up 40% over the last 5 years, like wages and capital spending, it is not a driver in the budget.
    Health care and other fringes, by contrast, are going up at double the rate of the rest of the budget.
    We find ourselves in a situation where our elected officials are not controlling costs – costs are controlling our elected officials. How many times since the budget was presented on March 11 have we heard, “Wages and benefits are going up and there’s nothing we can do about that.”
    Addressing disparities in benefits is a slow process requiring discipline over a long period. In the meanwhile, a fiscally responsible policy would be to reduce cost in other areas (capital spending and employment) until benefits can be brought under control.

  6. turtle

    Could you elaborate on what the slow process would involve and where specifically you’d like to see capital spending and staff cut, RSisk?

    How do you think benefits should be brought under control?

    Thanks.

  7. If all of us could just step outside of the West Hartford “this is my little world” bubble for just one moment and look at what the budget looks like, not for our town, but for this country, how to proceed will be much clearer. Here’s a site you should sit in front of for 30 minutes….
    http://www.nationalpriorities.org/costofwar_home Just sit and watch how your tax dollar numbers rise by the second. Five years after the start of the war (March 19, 2003), our tax dollars still are designated as emergency funds, not planned expenses. The Republicans running this country are out of financial control. And by the way, with more than 4,0o0 (mostly very young) Americans dead, the accompanying number for weapons of mass destruction remains at ZERO. We certainly don’t have to go to Iraq war expenses to see the misappropriation of funds in this country. The Farm Bill – struggling its way through Congress as we speak — a bill that originated to help farmers in the dust bowl during the Depression, is corporate welfare at its worst. Things have changed, and the discovery of ethanol (ridiculously expensive as it is to produce when compared to sugar) has worsened the situation. Food banks are empty while corporate farmers reap the spoils. Don’t believe it? Do some research… I did. Large corporate farms are now reaping in huge profits. How can my tax dollars be going to provide handouts not to small time farmers struggling to make ends meet, but to corporate farms owned by the already wealthy? A total of $25 billion was doled out to wealthy landowners by the federal government in 2005. In the meantime, banks won’t help homeowners about to lose the roof over their heads via foreclosures because of this scandalous bending of the rules in the financial markets, but our hard-earned tax dollars are helping already rich farm conglomerates to make even more money. Let me take the opportunity to remind you that tax dollars are partially MY dollars. (Many famers with no damages received $40,000 checks in the mail for a ‘disaster’ they didn’t realize happened on their land.) Situations like the doling out of $625 million to ranchers and dairy farmers lucky enough to be located in a ‘disaster area’ — i.e. the counties where Space Shuttle Columbia debris fell — must end. How could the United States of America, this country I want to be so proud of, pay out $1.3 billion in what I consider welfare to already rich farmers to plant NOTHING since 2001? This has to stop. All while the images of ‘welfare moms in Cadillacs’ float around. These federal welfare expenses are paid by all of us, impacting every community in this country. More to the feds for a war that should never have been, less to our town and its needs. Are you better off today than you were 8 years ago? I’m not. Give me back the 90’s anytime. I personally don’t care what people do in bed or with who; it’s not my business; is their policy affecting me in a positive manner? Is it giving my child the opportunity for a better life? Unless there’s a huge shocker, I plan to vote Democratic in November, for whoever that may be. And I have split my vote in the past; what’s best for me is what’s best. In reality, it’s the lesser of two evils. The Republicans just seem less interested in my well-being right now. As for West Hartford– we need a clearer indication of how our budget is being spent. It is time to be more restrictive with what we give in terms of benefits to union employees. I have gone in the past without a raise for years due to economic circumstances. Let’s ALL bite the bullet, not just the families supporting the schools. Teachers, town employees, school administrators, bite the bullet. And bonuses? Don’t hide that in the budget. The clearer, the better. On that end, I sing “Amen” when the taxpayers’ association speaks. And how about the city of (oops! Excuse me… for those living in the past_ the ‘town’ of West Hartford re-evaluating again? That number I received in the mail from the tax office is not the market value that shows up on Google search these days….

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