Informal survey compares tax increases of area towns

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As municipalities in southwestern Connecticut begin their fiscal years, Wilton has supplied two charts that track mill rates and tax increases for 18. While the data is considered to be final, minor adjustments may yet be reported.
“All municipalities cope with similar inflationary and other cost pressures such as union and non-union employee wage and benefit increases, pension contributions, utilities, materials and supply increases, etc. However, every municipality is different,” a press release from Wilton First Selectman Bill Brennan’s office said.
“Each community has different population and grand list/tax base levels, as well as commercial enterprise segments, which contribute to each community’s tax revenues. In addition, each community has different capital spending projects/debt obligations, accounting policies, budget fund balance requirements and, of course, political influences.”
The charts provide what the release called “an informal comparison of a broad range of Southwestern CT municipalities,” which may be helpful in understanding where each town fits into the survey group.
The survey grew out of a series of luncheons Wilton coordinates periodically among area first selectmen and mayors to exchange information on various subjects, such as impending legislation, emergency management cooperation, state directives, budgetary matters, etc.
Several years ago, an informal survey was started to track budget development of these communities, Brennan said, and Wilton also handled this informal survey.
“With final approved local budgets and mill rates established by almost all communities, in mid-June final survey information was solicited from all communities and the data obtained was used to develop the comparative bar charts,” he said.