Talking Points: Setting the Record Straight On Taxes and Bonding

Team Stewart and the New Britain GOP are blaming “tax hikes” on Mayor O’Brien and the Council Democrats.

At the same time they have no problem with Mayor O’Brien’s initiatives on new resources for schools, roads and public safety.  Hypocrisy thy name is Republican.

The following sets the record straight on taxes and bonding.

Why did the Mayor raise taxes when he promised not to?
The Mayor kept his promise by not raising the amount of taxes collected by a single dollar from 2010 to 2012. Every five years the State of Connecticut mandates what’s called a “revaluation” of our property in New Britain and who pays and by how much are determined by the assessments.Then why did the mill rate go up?

The mill rate went up to account for changes in the property values caused by the state’s revaluation. The mill rate did not change because of any additional spending.

Aren’t taxes going up all across the city?

Taxes on motor vehicles went up for virtually everyone but almost 7,000 real estate owners saw the property taxes on their homes go down. 77% of single family owners are paying less; 91% of two-family and 99% of three-family owners saw their property taxes decrease in the last year. For most, the savings in taxes on their homes were greater than the increase in taxes on their cars.

Why did my taxes go up on my house and my car?

Unfortunately, because of the state revaluation (that the Mayor opposes) almost 2,100 tax payers saw both property taxes on their home and vehicle go up – the Mayor included.

I don’t own my home so I didn’t see any of those savings…

Both the revaluation process and the property tax system in Connecticut are controlled by the state. Mayor Tim O’Brien and the Democratic Party believe that these systems need to be reformed – especially because cities get hit the hardest. Car taxes punish low-income people the most, but luckily the state legislature has proposed putting an end to the unfair car tax.

Hasn’t spending increased under Mayor Tim O’Brien?

Our 2012 budget lowered spending levels below the budget that the Mayor inherited. Moreover, Mayor O’Brien reduced the number of city departments from 22 to 6, while making sure that the city maintained, or in some cases even expanded, services. Amazingly, he accomplished this even though when he started the city was running a deficit and many of the city’s current projects were not funded.

Maybe spending hasn’t increased but isn’t the city just bonding everything, causing us to go into debt?

Interest rates are very low and bonding is an essential tool for local government to address infrastructure and other essential needs in a cost-effective way. All bonding is voted on by the Common Council and these important projects are investments in our city – many of which were supported by Republicans.

Why are we bonding for school books?

Only a portion of recent bonding went to replacing text books, which were outdated and needed to be replaced. The money also went to putting technology like projectors and Smart Boards in our classrooms, something that over half of New Britain classrooms didn’t have. This borrowing is short-term, not the same as bonding for major projects. It will be paid back in 5 years or less.

New Britain Democratic Town Committee


19 Bassett Street | 860-505-8901 | |

Labor donated. Any costs associated with this message paid by NBDTC. John Valengavich Treasurer. Approved by John McNamara

About nbpoliticus

NB Politicus is a weblog featuring news and commentary on politics, government and community life in New Britain, CT. John McNamara - Editor and Writer
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