Bronin proposes Hartford budget hoping for $39 million from the state to close gap

HARTFORD -- Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin released his proposed budget Monday afternoon that hinges on $39 million from the state to make up for tax-exempt properties. The budget keeps public safety and schools funding but reduces other community services like dial-a-ride buses.

"This budget delivers basic, essential services only," Bronin said. "Last year, we made huge cuts to the City workforce and to services, and while this proposed budget includes more tough reductions, we're reaching the limit of what we can responsibly cut without defaulting on our basic obligations to our residents."

The budget relies on the state fully funding $39.6 million for a PILOT program, Payments in Lieu of Taxes, that would cover lost tax revenue from property that is tax exempt in the city. According to the city, one half of the property in Hartford is tax exempt.  It also factors in corporate giving, $10 million a year for 5 years, to close the gap.

Bronin's proposal cuts $5.8 million from programs like recreation centers, Dial-a-Ride, youth support, and shelters. It also cuts $4.7 million from Department of Public Works, sanitation, snow, and parks.

The mayor said the budget "preserved funding for public safety and keeps education spending flat." At the same time it retains $18.6 million in cuts made in last year’s budget.

See the full budget here.