Town facing $2.8-million budget gap

Trumbull is staring at a $2.8-million budget deficit, with only about six months to close the gap before the end of the current fiscal year. First Selectman Vicki Tesoro has vowed to close the shortfall without increasing taxes, directing the town to send out January and April tax bills that do not change the rate on homes or cars. The tax bills sent out last June listed “TBD” for the January and April quarters.

“I wish the town had sent these sooner, but I’m making sure the bills go out now so that our residents can plan the timing of their tax payments and have confidence in their household budgets,” Tesoro said. “It is especially critical to get these bills out now in light of the current tax reform bill being voted on in Washington. Sending out tax bills is not the first thing I wanted to do as first selectman. However, I’m pleased that we are able to keep taxes stable in spite of inheriting an unbalanced budget.”

When the mill rate was set earlier this year, the revenue budget relied on increasing fees at the transfer station by $1 million, but that fee has not been implemented. That budget also used $1.8 million from the town’s General Fund, which is the town’s savings account.

Tesoro said that in the current fiscal environment, using so much of the town’s savings account is not prudent.

Town spending will need to be carefully examined for the remainder of the fiscal year, Tesoro said.

“We’ll have a microscope on spending, while making sure we don’t hurt public safety or the school system,” she said. “The budget we inherited does not have room to fund everything. We will prioritize town spending to best utilize finite resources. We plan to implement efficiencies which will save taxpayers money while continuing to provide high-quality services and maintain our commitment to public safety and our schools.”