In State Aid Jackpot Bridgeport Does Better, But Lags New Haven and Hartford–Paging Senators Bradley And Moore

State Senators Dennis Bradley and Marilyn Moore are detached from the city’s legislative delegation.

The good news for Bridgeport in the budget just approved by the state legislature: nearly $11 million extra for payments in lieu of taxes, the so-called PILOT program that partially reimburses the city for tax-exempt properties.

By comparison, however, the state’s largest city lags far behind New Haven and Hartford, a product of funding formula and purse-string influence under the capitol dome. In addition, because of Yale University and flagship medical facilities, New Haven has more tax-exempt value than Bridgeport so it’s naturally in a position to receive more.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker bet his election-year, no-tax-increase budget on a $49 million windfall engineered by State Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney of New Haven. In fact, according to Elicker, this is the first time New Haven has been fully reimbursed for tax-exempt payments since anyone can recall. Throughout state budget deliberations, Elicker warned without the loot his city faced financial apocalypse. The timing was right given the influx of state finances to bail out New Haven.

Bridgeport finance officials validate that the state budget passed has done more to aid cities than in decades, estimating the city’s PILOT reimbursement from the state is now at roughly 50 percent, reversing a plummeting trend that had been a much smaller fraction of the pie.

Colleges, hospitals, government buildings and churches are not taxable to host communities. Bridgeport has numerous parcels whose values amount to more than one billion dollars that are non taxable, services desirable to the entire region. Every year it’s a budgeting battle for local bean counters. How much can we plug in from the state in PILOT dough that covers a fraction of what the city would receive if those properties were fully taxable?

When it comes to influence in Hartford, Bridgeport’s State House members are in a pickle because the two senators who represent Bridgeport are detached from the core unit that builds momentum to get things done. State Senator Dennis Bradley is something of a rogue figure in Hartford doing his own thing. Now under federal indictment for public corruption things have just gotten worse as he devotes time to rescuing his liberty.

Dudchik, friends
State Reps. Rosario and Stafstrom pick up the slack.

State Senator Marilyn Moore has always been aloof to meeting with the delegation to craft priorities as a united front as other delegations do. She’s just not interested and makes it known up there with a wave of the hand. Privately, State House members assert Moore’s disinterest leaves a lot of money on the table for Bridgeport.

In a government and political environment where relationships matter, Bridgeport State House members such as Steve Stafstrom and Chris Rosario are filling the void of the two senators disconnected from the delegation. Without their intervention, as New Haven hit the jackpot, Bridgeport would have received millions less in state aid.

See below, courtesy of the Connecticut Mirror, chart featuring state aid to cities.



  1. If she has a record of detachment from Bridgeport’s delegation in Hartford, it is easy to think she’d be apathetic toward voters in Bridgeport. Her half-hearted campaign was a disappointment.
    She can’t take direct credit for the money House members say she leaves on the table.
    But with the Bond Commission she doesn’t have to share the spotlight.
    Self before service.

  2. Ron Mackey says:
    June 10, 2021 at 9:44 am
    “State Budget Result: City’s PILOT Doubles+” | New Haven Independent
    This is what New Haven will be receiving from the state, now what about Bridgeport?

    “What does this mean for you? This means:  

    “NO tax increase 

    “NO cuts to city services 

    “More investment in residents 

    “Greater financial stability for our city’s future …”

  3. When you’re right, you’re right. Too long with Senators who just stick to their little world and can bot help the city as a whole.
    BUT don’t let little Joe off of the hook too.
    He has someone or had someone who was in charge of intergovernmental relations who make more than a State Senator. Maybe twice as much so call them out two.

    1. It’s not Lennie’s job to serve as your private Ouija Board — especially if you’re a former City Councilman.
      Have you no brains? You’re here to show your expertise and not display your never-ending imbecility!

        1. OIB — Home of the Happy Blogger.
          If you can’t find happiness here, maybe you’re incapable of joy.

          PS when questioning your host, it makes sense to spell his name correctly.

          change happens –stand still or evolve
          Darwin is watching.

  4. Bob Wash, of course Mayor Ganim is apart of the problem compare to “New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker promptly trumpeted the news in an email blast and press release, including the above chart.”

    “He credited Looney first of all, as well as state legislators and alders who have been pushing for years for such a change and citizens who spoke up at public hearing.”

    “The press release credited state legislators in the headline. “Elicker Praises New Haven Legislative Delegation for Doubling PILOT Funding for City.”

    “In the email blast, sent under his city account, he also made an argument that promises to echo throughout his mayoral reelection campaign this year, taking credit for helping make the change happen and contrasting his performance to that of his predecessors:”

    “I have some amazing news. For decades Mayors have tried to increase the state of Connecticut’s investment in our city, to little avail. After months of work alongside our incredible state delegation, as well as municipal leaders across our state, I am so proud to announce we have succeeded in more than doubling the funding coming to our city every year. 

    “This funding is a game changer. I’ve heard from so many residents tired of their taxes going up while services go down. That is why I fought so hard to bring other local leaders together to support a proposal, put forward by Senator Looney, that would dramatically increase our city’s share of the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program. These dollars have been essential to our city’s ability to fund local government, and every resident deserves a city where we have the resources to operate our basic services. …

  5. Two Senators who wish to be mayor. Both leaving Bridgeport dollars on the table as part of their plan to make the current administration fail. Sabotage! Then repackage themselves into the mayoral candidates who will get the State to fully or equally fund Bridgeport.

  6. *** New Haven’s lucky charm has always been Yale University & Hartford, well its Ct’s capital. That along with the quality of political state representatives & state senators that represent the city of Bpt. is part of some of the reasons that Bpt. seems to always lag behind in state & federal funding monies. And of course, Bpt’s past negative reputation in the political, educational & elections arena, etc. does not help! Add what you will to the reasons, plus or minus! ***

  7. The last mayor that both a full vision and passion for Bridgeport — ahead of any political ambition — was John Mandanici. He actually brought a significant number of good-paying jobs, via manufacturing, back to Bridgeport — recall the East Side/GE-Remington industrial park across from the (present) new Harding High School.

    Mandanici was colorful and kept the interest of the FBI, but he bled Bridgeport and had the renaissance of the city as the focal point of his life… He was a real Bridgeporter whose political ambition started and stopped at City Hall. John Fabrizi was Mandanici’s disciple, in this regard, but, unfortunately, didn’t have the right people around him when it came to economic redevelopment vision and planning…

    All of our other modern mayors, and strong candidates (since McClevy) have been misdirected by the sirens of suburban elitism and personal political ambition. Hence, there in no leadership presently available (or visible on the horizon) to Bridgeport that has both the renaissance-vision/goals and popular support of the electorate (huge, potential Bridgeport vote) to twist the Hartford/DC short-hairs enough to secure the massive $help$ that Bridgeport deserves and needs to regain its former health and glory… Because, truth be known, the Connecticut oligarchy doesn’t want a strong, healthy Bridgeport regaining tax-base and labor intensive jobs that are required to secure the lifestyles and prerogatives of the suburban kingdom of the Connecticut oligarchs.

    Truly, Bridgeport’s modern mayors have been largely forces that are not based in Bridgeport and have interests counter to Bridgeport’s well-being… The strong, albeit unsuccessful candidates, of recent years, are similarly describable Gold Coast/Suburb puppet-lackeys…

    Until another “Mandanici” or “Fabrizi” (or Caruso) is fielded, successfully, for mayor of Bridgeport, nothing will improve here…

    Happy Bicentennial!

  8. Oh yes Mandanici was good for Bridgeport. He fought the hiring of Black’s, women and Latinos for the Fire Department all the way to the Supreme Court that ultimately cost the city and its residents 5.2 million dollars when he could have settled it for pennies on the dollar. He was your classic white man that thought, felt and believed that we were inferior for no other reason than we were not white men. Yes, that’s all Bridgeport needs another white supremacist!

  9. Don: The point of my comment obviously wasn’t about John Mandanici’s morality, ethics, or social enlightenment; it was about his having a clear, unapologetic, Bridgeport-centric (Bridgeport First!), municipal mission/modus operandi as mayor — in the context of the dog-fire hydrant relationship between Bridgeport and the Gold Coast/burbs that had been extant since the end of WWII. City hiring policy and municipal-employee race relations were abysmal before and after Mandanici, and don’t seem particularly even-handed or enlightened even to the present and after multiple law suits and the multi-year presence of the Special Master…

    The point was that the City had a determined local/state-level/national-level advocate in its top elected position. That was the single relevant point… John Fabrizi and Chris Caruso were also invoked — in that context. Neither one would ever be spoken of in a context of racial/ethnic bigotry…

    Don; how can you expect to think clearly and effectively about anything if you always feel compelled to ignore context and create a racial/racism spin to any given topic of discussion?! Anything can be given a racial/racist spin if you have any sort of imagination, regardless of whether it is a valid/necessary part of the consideration of the given topic/problem, or not… Your thinking is clearly disordered along obsessive-compulsive lines, with respect to race… You should get some counseling/therapy — maybe even medication — so that you can think and function normally in a multi-racial world where reality must be considered far beyond race…

    Keep in mind that as long as Bridgeport cannot provide full-employment/living-wage jobs, safe streets, and good schools for its citizens, all Bridgeporters will continue to be denied the access to the American Dream that we have been taught to expect. That access will be even more limited to those exposed to our societal racism if they are shackled to the effects of being residents of an abused/neglected, socioeconomically-distressed city. If you are concerned about Bridgeport and its people of color, then you must also be concerned about the personal/political agenda and ability of its top elected official. The number-one requirement in this context is that they have a Bridgeport First! agenda and won’t be enthralled by suburban campaign contributions, the suburban lifestyle, and higher political ambition…


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