Letter — Stop with the budget gimmicks

To the editor:

This year the Democrats on the Board of Finance are looking to create a $4 million funding cliff with no regard for the impact it will have to our town going forward.

The meeting (which I would recommend watching at https://www.trumbullps.tv/) included the recommendation to raid the general fund of $2.96 million, which seems to fly in the face of the stance they have held for at least the past five years.

To quote current BOF member Michael Barker, “I will work hard to make sure our town government doesn’t raid its savings to balance the budget.” But he is now sitting in position with a plan to do exactly that. I am all for lower taxes, however, this ploy will create a significant funding cliff.

Another proposal is to refinance the towns 2012 bonding. I am all for this, especially if it results in $1 million savings to the town. I am also completely OK with taking the savings up front, but when adding this to the $2.96 million this will put the town close to a $4 million funding cliff.

The proposal from First Selectman Tesoro for next years’ budget is a $5.4 million spending increase compared to the current year’s budget. This represents a 2.9% increase in spending but they want to offset this with $4 million of money that will not be around next year and other gimmicks to for the additional $1.4 million as they are stating a 0% tax increase.

So this year they “keep” the tax rate lower but next year will be another very tough year and we are already starting in the hole. Without making any spending increases (like the Republicans suggested) this year there would already be a 2.99% tax rate increase next year. This isn’t budgeting, this is just a gimmick and to quote the current BOF Chairman Lainie McHugh “I am not happy with the gimmicks and political double talk that make people think their taxes are staying low.”

None of the above is even addressing the Board of Education (which is being audited), as prior to the shutdown due to COVID-19 they were estimating a $2 million dollar shortfall in the current year, and the response to that was to cut the first selectman’s recommendation (which was already reduced from the request) by another $500,000.

Maybe for once we should be held to the words we use to get elected and stop with games and gimmicks

Scott Zimov, District 1

Trumbull Republicans