Governor Dan Malloy’s deficit-mitigation plan to the state legislature may cause more financial pain for municipalities for the budget year ending June 30, including slashing $1.9 million due Bridgeport from the tribal casino slot take. If it goes through it could cause belt tightening for the city to avoid a year-ending deficit with just seven weeks to go.
Malloy made several moves on Wednesday to try to close a $390 million hole, including accessing hundreds of millions in state reserves. He also diverted $19 million from tribal casinos normally slated for municipalities. Under a gaming compact with the state’s two tribal nations, Connecticut receives 25 percent of the slot action that’s shared with municipalities. It means millions each year for Bridgeport. What’s the ultimate impact on Bridgeport?
Statement from Bridgeport Finance Director Ken Flatto:
“The Governor’s new late year cuts, which apparently includes a CUT to the Pequot Casino funding to localities, will hurt this year’s FY17 City budget by approximately $1.9 million if implemented by the state. This is the last expected tranche of funding the City is supposed to get in June from the annual casino funding revenues.
The City has taken many financial belt tightening strides this year to seek to ensure we end the FY17 year with a healthy solid surplus, and we are committed to that. But this decision by the Governor obviously makes this task more difficult.”
Joe DeLong, executive director of the municipal lobbying arm Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, told the Connecticut Post this is another case of the state passing down additional financial burdens on local towns.
“This situation is yet another of what has become a constant reminder of the need for comprehensive reforms,” said DeLong. “It is only through serious actions on cost containment, local revenue diversification, and service sharing that Connecticut will see its way out of this mess and into a brighter future.”