Mayor Joe Ganim joined other Connecticut mayors on Wednesday at a news event hosted by the municipal lobbying arm Connecticut Conference of Municipalities calling on the state legislature to approve new revenue sources and shared regional services to save money. See video above. See executive summary of This Report Is Different here.
Here are a few examples of some new municipal tools the report calls for:
· Removing service sharing arrangements as a subject of collective bargaining; state law should be changed so that interlocal agreements or service sharing contracts involving two or more municipalities will override any participating municipality’s charter.
· Allowing general government more control over education expenditures and boards of education; and amending the Municipal Employee Retirement System (MERS) to establish an additional retirement plan for new hires.
· Expanding the sales tax base by repealing 10% of the exemptions for selected consumption categories; reducing the state sales tax rate by 0.75% to 5.60%; and levying a statewide local sales tax at the rate of 1%.
· Changing state law and permit municipalities to require on-going fees for the use of the public rights of way.
· Requiring property owners of properties subject to state PILOT reimbursement to pay the difference between the state’s statutory PILOT rate and the amount towns actually receive in state PILOT payments, up to 20 percent of the mil rate.
· Requiring property assessment services be consolidated and/or shared in Connecticut regions for assessment offices servicing less than 15,000 parcels.
CT Post reporter Neil Vigdor has more on this here.