To the Editor:
Board of Finance candidate Tom Kelly would actually try to have Trumbull taxpayers believe that the Herbst Administration has not provided strong financial leadership for Trumbull. The average tax increase under the Herbst administration over a four year period has been 1.88% — below inflation. Under Mr. Herbst's predecessor, the average annual tax increase was 6%. Mr. Herbst and his team have been able to stabilize taxes while fixing the pension fund and paying down excessive amounts of debt that Mr. Herbst inherited four years ago. The 17% increase in non-education spending that Mr. Kelly references was driven by a 91.63% increase in pension contributions and debt service (mainly to pay for the high school renovation, started before Mr. Herbst took office). Why a large increase in pension contributions? The Herbst administration decided to solve the problem, rather than kick the can and followed the recommendations of actuaries and all three financial rating agencies. Mr. Kelly references the mill rate, however, what he fails to explain is that the mill rate increase is the direct result of property revaluation, which is a state mandated process that must occur every five years. As most Trumbull taxpayers know, residential property taxes decreased last year.