Revisions made by the state to aid provided to the towns with no state budget in place show Branford essentially losing all state aid, including receiving no Education Cost Sharing (ECS) monies.

Governor Dannel Malloy sent out the number Friday, showing total state aid as part of the 2016-17 budget coming in at 2,857,063; the new Malloy plan reduces that to just $21,252, an amount designated for adult education.

Many towns have been scrambling, nervous over potential reductions in state aid and the possible need for supplemental tax bills that may become necessary as the state continues to fail to pass a budget for the current year.

However, Branford took a more proactive approach, essentially budgeting for the worst case scenario. The pan eliminates any possibility of a supplemental tax bill, and uses part of past years savings to offset the drastic reductions in state ad under Malloy.

What we still do not know is what the possible impacts will be should a budget be passed in the near future. Recent talks have included attempts to increase revenue at the state, including an increase in the state sales tax.

However, it remains unlikely that increased revenue would be seen by towns like Branford, who are in a fiscally strong position. Last month, Malloy sent out letters to towns asking for an update to the current fund balance and other monies on hand, raising concerns that Malloy would essentially use the towns strong fiscal status and responsible budgeting against them.

What does seem to be promising is that the initial Malloy proposal that included, not just eliminating aid to towns like Branford, but actually sending them a bill for teachers pensions, has no support in the state legislature.

But here is where it gets tricky.

If monies to the town were to be preserved, it would likely include a sales tax increase. Right now, the House Democrats are pushing to make that 6.99%, the Senate Democrats are pushing for 6.75%; neither plan would get any Republican votes.

No Republican votes for either plan means a veto-proof majority does not exist, which would allow a Malloy veto, and the implementation of his plan, which eliminates most of the aid to towns like Branford and Guilford, and can return the teacher pension payment option, which would charge towns.

State representative Sean Scanlon stated that he would not vote for any plan that would cut the aid to Branford and Guilford to the extent of the Malloy plan, and it is unlikely other members of the delegations would either.

Meaning this: the legislature has until the first scheduled Education Cost Sharing payment, which is in October, to have a plan or the Malloy plan goes in. To do that, the House is looking at a potential vote the second week of September. That plan will include a sales tax increase, but keep much of the state aid to Branford and Guilford.

However, without a veto-proof majority, the budget can still be stopped by Malloy, and see him move forward removing almost all state aid to Branford and Guilford, as he has consistently tried to do starting with his initial budget proposal.

(19) comments


Scanlon , Reed and Kennedy have been waging their tails for Malloy for years. Now, Malloy is biting their tails. Democrats eating their own. The next election may be our last chance to save Connecticut from disaster. Scanlon,Reed and Kennedy have to go.


I just don't comprehend why Branford is basically getting nothing from the State because of it's financially responsible, and places like New Haven and Bridgeport who are and have always been in a financial disasterous state get all the funds with no cuts!!! Really!! These Towns and cities that are going without cuts also consume most of the social services and aid provided by the state!!! The state welfare system needs a comp!ete overhaul, if you have a child that was your doing, don't expect the state to pay for your child for years, get a job, you had the energy to produce the child so you should have the same energy to work!!!!!!!!!!! I do agree that the representatives from Branford have not come through for Branford residents, who send their hard earned money to the state to basically get nothing in return but aggravation!!!!


It is always so easy to blame the cities for the ills of the state but there are many reasons why the cities continue to get money. Cities basically care for the majority of Connecticut citizens that towns don’t want. Cities have homeless shelters, more supportive and affordable housing than suburbs. The people living in that housing are not just city residents. They are residents from other towns who don’t offer those services or the housing and transportation to allow families to stay in suburbs. Right now there are 30 families on a wait list for shelter in New Haven and there are over 75 families waiting to get on a wait list for emergency shelter.
You say get a job. People want jobs but to afford a 2 bedroom fair market value apartment in New Haven you need to make $25.08 an hour. The majority of jobs do not pay that and unfortunately the ones that do many families are not qualified for the jobs. New Haven has a tighter rental market than New York. And yes these families would like a job but then they need safe affordable child care to be able to work and provide for their families. Yet the state closed the one program that allowed women to work and know their children were in safe childcare because the state didn’t have the money. By the time they get a job which is usually minimum wage, pay child care, public transportation they don’t have money to break the cycle of poverty.
Right now in the state 37% of all households are one paycheck away from being financially unstable. That is up from 35% two years ago. This is a report that the United Way did called the ALICE report which means Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed.
Our legislators and governors have not done their job for decades and we the citizens of the state have basically allowed them to kick the financial can down the road and now the can has come to the end of the road. I am as angry as you are that we are where we are. Angry that Branford once again will not receive a fair share but don’t just blame the cities. Put the blame where it belongs. It belongs on all of us who just weren’t watching with a more critical eye on the budget process and how the budget was being paid for. And now we can only hope that we will look critically at who is running next year, what they say, which hopefully will be the cold hard facts and truth instead of saying what we want to hear, and give us faith that our legislators will do the job we elected them to do.


I agree with the majority of the statements you brought up but it still all comes down to if you cannot afford a child you should not being having them!!! So many of these homeless families you are speaking if consist of two or more children!!! If you can't afford to shelter and clothes one why are you having more! I worked two jobs for years to make ends meet!! Tired of bailing out these irresponsible parents, most are children themselves!!!As you stated put the blame on where it belongs, it belongs on anyone who takes on more than they can afford!!


Speak for yourself. Some of us have been voting against Democrats for years. We do not share your self imposed shame.


That's because it is those cities who ALWAYS vote Democratic so Malloy is rewarding them for voting for him!


Absolutely correct! Bring a republican back in!!


it's called income redistribution.. plain and simple and it's something the democrats have been aiming to do all along... elections have consequences folks...


We can blame Malloy, but Kennedy and Reed are just as responsible for this devastating news for Branford.


Thank you democrat dumb donkeys!


And I suspect the Town will continue with its projects and raise taxes all the while claiming their fiscal house is in order. I would suggest the RTM conduct a study to determine the critical level of taxation which forces property prices to decline. There is plenty of research on this subject thus all it take is some time to review and there is no need to hire a consultant. This is the same scenario which has played in NJ for the last 10 years. The only difference is Morris and Bergen county remained healthy and Fairfield county is falling apart.

Steve Mazzacane Staff
Steve Mazzacane

Branford's fiscal house, by any objective measure, is in order. We know this by documents prepared by bond rating agencies who evaluate Branford's fiscal house on a regular basis. Branford's Equalized Mil Rate is, at last measure, is 108th in the state, so its nowhere near any type of breaking point. It is also of note that that mill rate includes services many other towns do not offer. While we should take a critical approach to all projects, evaluating need versus wants, delaying needed projects is a poor fiscal move, as costs only increase.


1) The rating is high to due the towns ability to tax. As the CT bond rating moves lower there is a lag effect before the ratings of towns move lower. 108th lowest tax rate isn't a stat to hang your hat own. Taxation at the state and town level combined compared against annual earnings is more relevant. 2) The town has the ability to move long term liabilities off the balance sheet unlike owners of a company. For instance the 20trn in US debt is on balance sheet, the off balance sheet liabilities is 85 trn. Its accounting trick which was instituted by politicians for their own benefit and applied across the States. Move the long term liabilities (pensions) back onto the balance as of tomorrow with the decrease in funds flowing from the State and wait for the lower debt rating. The need to look at the entire picture is a must, not the next 5 years


Connecticut is clueless about preserving businesses in the state. The middle class is leaving and there is a glut of homes for sale at bargain prices. So our accountant governor allows thousands of illegals to occupy (3) sanctuary cities, and nobody puts a price-tag on that stupid decision. We need to use electronic tolls at border, and to keep minimum wage where it is. There is a program for single moms who earn minimum wage to receive supplemental help called earned income credit, but I think that is may only payout at end of year. This was referred to by Milton Friedman as negative income tax and is a better alternative that charging the job creators by increasing minimums. Only 18% of the minimum wage earners are head of households. It is time to purge the Democrats out and let conservatives run the state.


The Democrats who like open borders should be aware that 65% of the outside world does not use toilet paper! Get rid of the sanctuary cities!


I've been reading many towns are preparing for staff cuts and Seymour's First Selectman has decided on spending freeze for the moment. It will be very interesting to see which towns begin to cut their spending and those which decide to tax their citizens. I would bet Branford will raise property taxes.


As a 15 year member of the Branford Economic Development Commission, I ascribe the solid financial condition and good bond rating to three facts: 1) Good financial management by Jim Finch, 2) Conservative financial conduct by both parties over several years, 3) Excellent tax base and income from shorefront and water view real estate. Branford is a great town in which have a business, and to retire. Joe Gordon


Yeah, tax the hell out of people on or near the water! Why should they be treated "fair".


Steve: This State is a mess! Malloy has huge double busses running around empty, empty parking lots at train stations, and now talking about high speed trains. You journalists have not touched the third rail of sanctuary cities and the huge costs of CT accepting undocumented low income, uneducated people in our cities and talking up "regionalization" like it will be a great thing. I have no respect for democrats that keep voting for these dishonest fiscal dopes as soon as they get out of prison, who just want more poverty to keep the votes coming. Are there any conservative professors in journalism courses? I have to be anonymous to avoid hate mail.

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