Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra has unveiled a budget that includes $530 million in total spending, but like in many in cities and towns, also proposed about $12 million in total spending reductions aimed at dealing with a $48 million shortfall.
The city's charter obligated the mayor to deliver the budget to the town clerk by today.
"What we’re going to do is basically we’re going to have some departmental cuts in order to trim down the level of spending," Segarra, a Democrat, said of his proposed spending plan.
Roughly $12 million in cuts are directly connected to departments like information technology, youth summer employment and health and human services.
Segarra said he worked to provide a budget that did not include layoffs for public safety employees or a tax hike for residents.
"We’re not going to lay off police. We’re not going to lay off firefighters. We’re not going to lay off DPW workers which I think those levels are low enough as they are at this point," he said.
On the decision not to raise property taxes, Segarra said the city is close to tapped out when it comes to its mill rate and that an increase would be untenable.
“We also don’t want to burden our taxpayers with an increase in the mill rate. The mill rate is already at 74.29. We cannot raise that," Segarra said.
The state is also trimming spending by restructuring some of its debt service and debt payments, and by creating a health benefit trust fund for school administrators.
Gov. Dannel Malloy proposed cutting Hartford's sum of municipal aid by about $5 million.
Segarra said he's bracing for any additional cuts that may come from Democrats in the General Assembly, who are expected to unveil their budget by the end of the week.