Report by Paula Antolini
March 30, 2018 6:06PM EDT
LETTER TO THE EDITOR from BILLY MICHAEL
Letter to the Editor: Bethel Taxpayers are Discovering a New Meaning to the Phrase, ‘March Madness!’
This budget season, taxpayers are discovering a new meaning to the phrase, “March Madness!”
Last week in the same news cycle, the federal government passed a deficit-ridden $1.3 trillion omnibus spending package; a Connecticut transportation committee advanced a proposal for tolls on top of two crushing Malloy tax increases, and in addition to over 350 existing state revenue sources!
Locally the Democratic majority on the Bethel Board of Finance proposed a nearly 5% aggregate tax increase, justified by a pedantic narrative that characterized the economy as good and the need to reduce short term borrowing.
That board’s March 20th Public Hearing devolved into a Turf Field Rally – a close to $1 million project that had been removed by a 2:1 vote by the Board of Selectmen.
While the historic and statutory role of the Board of Finance remains one of restraining town spending, it was maddening to learn that this Democratic majority actually added $900,000 the Selectmen’s proposal before it went to Public Hearing/Turf Rally producing a whopping $75 million annual spending plan.
The March Madness has continued with the nearly $1 million Turf Field added to the proposed budget while we learn that the new Police Station is over budget by $890,000!. Wait until overruns on the $65 million school project emerge!
Officials claim the average tax increase will be only $35, however, before you vote, do the math. Multiply your new assessment by the proposed increased 33.04 mill rate. Then subtract your current tax bill from that number.
If your tax increase is maddening– join the Bethel Action Committee along with many other disgruntled taxpayers and vote “NO!”