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Ouch! Malloy Slashes Bridgeport Slot Take

May 11th, 2017 · 11 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Budget, News and Events

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.”

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11 Comments so far ↓

  • Follow the Money

    Simple Solution: Authorize slots in parimutuels through a Tribal Agreement.

  • Jimfox

    Ganim: “I didn’t raise your Taxes, Malloy, Scott Burns and the City Council did”.

    • Jimfox

      Flatto:
      “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.”

      A surplus means you over taxed our Ass again Ken,
      try working on Zero-Base Budgeting! (ZBB).

  • Tom White

    No problem . Just cut police overtime.

  • John Marshall Lee

    Who looks at City monthly financial reports that Ken Flatto puts out for the City Council? You don’t? Is it because the City does not bother to put them on the City website each month while telling you that they are OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE and TRANSPARENT? Honestly? OK that’s your excuse. And it is a good one, so let me repeat what I wrote within the past two weeks:

    At the end of March Revenues projected by year end will be $554,272,779 by the Flatto pencil an increase of revenues over approved budget of $1,781,162. And 9 month actual expenses are projected to end the year $3,302,378 less than approved. That creates a spread of nearly $5 Million.
    Some simple math indicates that the City was so conservative last year when the mil rate and taxes for all INCREASED relative to the DECREASED property values. Ganim2 did not tell the truth, we know from our tax bills.
    But how conservatively he padded the budget assumptions we are only discovering now. Sad. Bad. Untrustworthy, but Ken can coast into the Hune 30 2017 closing.

    And you should complain about the lack of electronic monthly financial reports…..because your Council person gets them!! And I will continue to complain about Flatto’s lack of publishing the June 30, 2016 final monthly report, called for in the City Charter, but not delivered for last year. Where’s the Sheriff, Ken? Do you see him coming closer? Time will tell.

  • Bob Walsh

    So if Jon is correct we have enough money to save the current budget and still have a surplus to give the Board of Ed.
    All in favor say AYE.
    Opposed NAY.
    The AYE’s have it.
    Vote so ordered.

    • John Marshall Lee

      If John is not correct, Bob, what is the meaning of the facts and financial stats present in the monthly reports?

      And if we want the fullest (and presumably honest background) for what has been happening actually since the Mayor has not included the info in his priorities or public announcements please go to the City web site and click on Finance Department. In addition to links to CAFRS there are links to Other Statements that show the instruments publicly offered when bonds go to market. Such statements bear a level of accuracy and breadth that we do not regularly see in daily statements from City leadership.
      Click on “Oct 2016 Bond Official Statement” and scroll to page 34 where you can read in depth about the planning behind the 2017FY adopted budget (current one with the big tax increase) and Fund Balance Plans and Policies. Overtaxation occurred to create actual budget surpluses to increase City Fund Balances that at one time under Ganim1 were $55 Million and perhaps in excess of fund balance policy maximum of 12% of operating budget? However, fund balances regularly were depleted so that today’s claimed 2.8% falls below the fund balance range and becomes a factor in borrowing?

      When budgets are not monitored throughout the year by parties other than the administration and are not able to secure more than 55 changes in thousands of line items, including their own budget, the taxpayer should conclude that there is no serious effort to understand City policy, to keep City expenditures at minimums necessary only, and to put taxpayer dollars to where the community interest is clearly demonstrated….youth education, libraries, and strong, but not bloated, public safety, perhaps? Time will tell.

  • Jeff Kohut

    I tuned in to a rerun of a roundtable meeting on the CT economy chaired by BCFC VP Joe McGee on the state government cable-access channel a couple of days ago… It was interesting to see the extent to which state economic policy is driven by parasitic special interests…

    All 5 panel members focused the extraordinary cost of living in Connecticut as well as exclusionary zoning and lack of affordable housing as the main culprit behind Connecticut’s economic woes… Of course, Joe McGee tried to steer the discussion to Connecticut taxes and overregulation as the main culprit, even as he tried to apologize for the exclusionary zoning as being just a symptom of the wealthier communities reasonably protecting themselves from the need to provide more $ for education and services if they were to allow affordable workforce housing in their towns…

    Now, we all know that exclusionary zoning is a racist, elitist, deliberately exploitative phenomenon that has destroyed Connecticut’s cities even as it has driven business and living wage jobs out of the state by creating housing costs that require wages that most companies won’t even consider — not to mention the stress-, financial-, and time-effect that the forced commute by an over-concentrated workforce has on the transportation conditions and the transportation needs/costs of the state… This was never mentioned by anyone in the panel — only the need for prohibitively-costly “infrastructure improvements”…

    And, strikingly, a UI executive on the panel — nor anyone else on the panel — acknowledged our 2nd-hightest-in-the nation energy costs as a major problem involved in the destruction of the Connecticut economy…

    So, while the economically-destructive exploitation of cities and city residents was indirectly acknowledged (by way of recognizing the problem created by housing costs related to exclusionary zoning in the state), no-one came forward with any solutions to that, or the other multitude of extortionate situations being perpetrated on urbanites and distressed suburban communities for the sake of the corporate utility interests and elitist suburbanites…

    The state legislature is clueless and gutless on economic issues and they have to deal with a clueless Governor who is otherwise conflicted in his constituent allegiances…

    Connecticut needs socioeconomic restructuring — which would include enforced, minimum population percentages of poor and working-poor families in all communities (by way of state-enforced levels of affordable housing construction in all communities) as well as a state takeover of all energy utilities… These measures will provide remedies for the housing-cost dilemma, transportation dilemma, and utility-cost effects that have destroyed the Connecticut economy… This will make Connecticut business-friendly again in way that will revitalize the cities and make the state generally more livable again — such that companies will want to move to Connecticut again, rather than Taxachussetts, Texas, Mexico, or somewhere in Asia…

    And, in the mean-time, Bridgeport needs and deserves a huge, high-end, waterfront casino…

    • Gary Tobin

      The last thing Connecticut residents need is more government controlling more of their lives and their local cities and towns.

      • John Marshall Lee

        Gary,
        You provide a one sentence NOT to Jeff’s broad analysis with current reference to high-level panel commentary. What’s your narrative with factual support for a direction? And if you do not have such, but are merely uttering your frustration, why not say that? Time will tell.

  • Mojo

    *** Slash of assumed money from the casinos whom also had a bad $ year themselves, no? *** Get back a weeks vacation from all the political and non-union job’s workers starting from the top to the bottom, no? ***

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