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January 25, 2022

Fiscal relief, service-sharing top of mind for CCM as ‘22 legislative session nears

Photo | CT Mirror The state Capitol.

Connecticut’s cities and towns will be pushing lawmakers to help them regionalize services, reduce dependence on property taxes and shore up transportation infrastructure when the 2022 legislative session begins next month.

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities on Tuesday released a list of policy reforms they would like to see taken up by the General Assembly and Gov. Ned Lamont, with the most pressing items focusing on tax and fiscal relief and diversification of municipal income streams.

“These proposals are popular, common-sense initiatives to make life easier and more affordable for Connecticut families and residents,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, who also serves as president of CCM.

The organization is lobbying lawmakers to “reduce the current over-reliance on a regressive property tax system” through revenue diversification, and by providing incentives for towns and cities to expand shared and regional services. CCM also favors a phase-in of property tax revaluations, and a local option to delay property tax revaluations for one year.

To enhance opportunities for regionalization, legislators should help remove or set aside limits on service-sharing folded into labor agreements, CCM officials said, and allow municipalities to repeal or amend elements of their charters that limited increased cooperation.

On the infrastructure front, the group is pushing the General Assembly to provide “sustainable funding to maintain and improve state and local transportation infrastructure,” and to make such funding available by supplementing existing state programs, such as the Local Capital Improvement Program and the Local Bridge Program, rather than creating new ones.

CCM’s list also touched on goals related to education, public safety and health, including improved air filtration and ventilation systems for public schools, an expansion of the state’s efforts to contain the opioid epidemic and broader deployment of police body and dash cameras.

Connecticut’s legislative session begins Feb. 9.

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