Public supports $33.9 million Wilton selectmen budget request

Wilton First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice

Wilton First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice

Hearst File Photo

Residents recently showed their support for the proposed $33.9 million Board of Selectmen budget that includes funding for a new police headquarters project and other long-term planning to better use resources.

“It was appreciated that residents expressed support,” Vanderslice said of the public hearing. In the presentation, Vanderslice laid out where the bulk of residents’ tax dollars are being spent.

An average median real estate taxpayer in Wilton pays roughly $14,000 a year in property taxes. About $3,550 of that sum, or just over 25 percent, is being proposed to go to the BOS budget.

The overwhelming majority, more than 40 percent, of the selectmen budget is funneled into the public safety budget. Next, the public works budget takes just under 12 percent. Regulatory department and the Wilton Library grant make up the next two largest portions at 9.5 percent and 8.5 percent respectively.

Wages total $15.5 million of the budget request. Medical expenses and other town benefits both total $3.4 million respectively. Both of these drivers are spread out and included in the departments’ budgets.

The proposal is nearly $458,000, or 1.37 percent, more than the current budget and is slightly higher than the FY2020 pre-pandemic budget.

Vanderslice pointed out that the relatively small increase in the budget request was achieved despite more state mandates , more residents and the Consumer Price Index averaging an annual growth of 2.32 percent from 2016 to 2022. The town general annual wage increase also averaged 1.95 percent to 2.75 percent.

One point of savings has been the consolidation of town government positions. The town also shares employees, such as the chief financial officer, with the schools.