Last-minute battle for tax relief in ...

Last-minute battle for tax relief in Stratford

There are 3 comments on the Connecticut Post story from May 10, 2014, titled Last-minute battle for tax relief in Stratford. In it, Connecticut Post reports that:

Stratford, Conn. resident Henry Bruce says he's fed up with the town's tax rate, and heaAos waging a last-ditch effort though his grassroots MOVEStratford group to get the Town Council to scrap the $204 million 2014-15 budget proposed by Mayor John Harkins that would raise taxes more than 5 percent.

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Bridgeport, CT

#1 May 11, 2014
31jezebel282 on May 10, 2014 said:

Here is the problem with the gobbledygook (sic), nowhere does it say that sewer use fees may be used for townwide obligations. In fact it states clearly in the Town’s own regulations that:

Chapter 172

Paragraph 172-92 C

“Sewer use charges shall be collected in accordance with the regulations and procedures as promulgated by the WPCA and shall be paid to the Tax Collector and deposited by the Town Finance Director in a special account, separate from other Town funds, designated the “Wastewater Operating Fund.” This fund shall be used for operation, maintenance, administration, replacement and expansion of the sewerage system and for payment of principle and interest on bonds and notes of the Town issued for construction of the sewerage system.”

But wait. It gets worse. According to the Connecticut General Statutes, use of Sewer Fees for any purpose other than connection to or operation of the sewerage system is prohibited.

“Sec. 7-267. Use of funds. All benefit assessments and charges for connection with or use of the sewerage system, whether pledged for payment of bonds or notes or otherwise, shall be kept separate from other funds of the municipality and shall be used for the sewerage system, including the payment of debt incurred for the sewerage system and interest thereon, and for no other purpose.”

The CGS explicitly prohibits the use of sewer use fees for payment of townwide obligations like a pension fund, placement in the General Fund, subsidizing Public Works or probably “land use”.

Mayor Harkins and the WPCA have clearly been in violation of Town Code AND Connecticut Statute. And we have suffered. At least according to the published budget and the printed statements of his Chief Administrative Officer and Chief of Staff. In fact, the ridiculous argument that other municipalities might pay a higher rate and our rate should be “competitive” is equally prohibited.

The question that remains is what is the punishment for a mayor and members of the WPCA who violate Town Code and State Statute? Maybe we should take the penalty out of the Town Attorneys compensation since a Town Attorney should clearly have known this. It only took minutes for a non-professional to figure this one out.
Neil Y

Stratford, CT

#2 May 15, 2014
I thought that azz clown Jezebel movved dow to the Villages in Florida and got a nasty STD!
Amazing Carnak

Simpsonville, SC

#3 May 16, 2014
Where was this financial wizard at election time?
Why did he not come foreward last year - or the year before at buget time?
I like to know what drives poeple who claim to have better ideas to hold them back and not share for the betterment of the town.
And the BOE is a sacred cow?
Give them a boat load of money - but not the rest of the budget?

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