To the Editor:
Talk about eye opening. After recently paying my car tax, I discovered that my car value has decreased 46% since 2009, while my car tax has only dropped 27%. Reviewing mill rate increases from 2009 to 2014 in our town and surrounding towns, including Stratford, Shelton, Monroe and Fairfield, I discovered that the Town of Trumbull has seen a dramatic 34% increase in this rate, while Stratford, Shelton, Monroe and Fairfield show an increase of 11%, 20%, 22% and 29%, respectively. I recognize that the mill rate is only a multiplier calculated to meet the budget number approved by our Board of Finance. It is amazing to me that while our majority government has claimed fiscal responsibility and consistently advocated for bare bones education/art budgets, they have increased spending on the town side of the budget for legal expenses, administrative bloat and audits, necessitating substantial increases in our mill rate and personal property taxes. You might argue that your real estate taxes have remained predictable over the past six years, but remember that we have experienced recession with a substantial drop in our home values. As a real estate appraiser, I know that regardless of whether you utilize the school system, there is no more damaging combination of economic factors than lower house values, increased mill rates and underfunded education.