May 22, 2012

Council seeks cuts, finance board refuses

Bristol Taxpayers Association President Bob Fiorito joked with Paul Keegan, a city union leader, following Monday's Joint Board meeting.
In a rare twist, city councilors Monday pushed for spending cuts in a proposed $177 million municipal budget that Board of Finance members refused to support.
The spending plan for the coming fiscal year won approval on a 9-5 vote that saw four Republican councilors and one finance commissioner argue unsuccessfully for lowering the 6 percent property tax called for in the budget.
The majority gunned down proposals to slice spending on parks, the library, a contingency account, money set aside for salary hikes and other measures that might have reduced the tax burden a bit.
The fiscal oversight panel, created during the Great Depression to stifle spendthrift politicians, said that last-minute cuts would hurt services, weaken the city’s finances and undermine its work during the past few months.
Finance Chairman Rich Miecznikowski said the tax hike will hit the average homeowner for about $240 extra in the fiscal year beginning July 1, an amount he called “minimal.” Click here for the rest of the story.

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