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Looks like Trumbull politicians have found some common ground after all.
Governor Ned Lamont’s budget proposal is generating some pushback on both sides of the aisle. Town Council Republicans are seeking to pass a resolution opposing a proposal to place tolls on Connecticut highways, and First Selectman Vicki Tesoro submitted testimony opposing plans to expand the state sales tax and reduce Trumbull’s state school funding.
Tesoro acknowledged that opposition to both adding tax revenue and reducing spending puts the governor and state legislature in a tough spot. But expanding the sales tax could drive shoppers away from Trumbull-based retailers like the Westfield Trumbull Mall, the town’s largest taxpayer, Tesoro said. And the proposed 24% cut to Trumbull’s Education Cost Sharing grant would force the town to increase property taxes by about $650,000, she said.
“I know it’s tough, and I don’t have all the answers,” Tesoro said. “But I will be an advocate on behalf of Trumbull residents and businesses.”
Town Council Republicans are pushing for a resolution opposing tolls in the state.
“We feel the need to bring awareness to our residents and business about the substantial increase in taxes heading our way from Governor Lamont's proposed budget,” said Minority Leader Carl Massaro. “The tolls, as proposed, will be a punishing cost to traveling Trumbullites on top of Education Cost Sharing grant cuts and teacher pension bills headed our way from the governor.”
The resolution, as proposed to the council’s Legislation and Administration Committee Monday, calls the toll proposal unfair to Trumbull residents and disproportionately reliant on taxing Fairfield County. The resolution warns against the possibility of increased traffic on side roads from motorists seeking to avoid the tolls, and calls on Trumbull’s representatives in Hartford to oppose any attempt to place tolls on I-95, the Merritt Parkway, and any state highway and road that traverses or adjoins Trumbull. The committee passed the resolution without recommendation, meaning it will now head to the full council, most likely on its March 4 agenda.