FIRST SELECTMAN PROPOSES $183.8 MILLION BUDGET FOR 2021-2022
Taxes and spending increase marginally as the town moves through the brutal impact of a global pandemic.
First Selectman Vicki Tesoro is proposing a town budget of $183.8 million for the next fiscal year, a spending increase of 3.0%, slightly higher but still comparable to last year’s increase of 2.74%.
In the proposed 2021-2022 budget, taxes for Trumbull residents would increase by 3.17%. However, Tesoro’s budget does not include revenue that might come to the town from a federal COVID-19 relief package—a package already passed by the House of Representatives and that could become law as early as the middle of this month. Should the relief bill pass in a timely manner, residents and businesses will receive much-needed relief and the Board of Finance and the Town Council may be able to use stimulus funds to make budget adjustments.
The spending increase in Tesoro’s proposed budget is largely driven by increases in contractual wages, benefits, other fixed costs. It’s also driven by an increase in funds allocated to the Board of Education.
The schools will receive a 3% increase, or nearly $3.3 million over last year’s approved budget. Total school system spending would be $112.3 million in 2021-2022, representing 61% of the total town budget.
In establishing the proposed budget for the Board of Education, Tesoro factored in a $450,000 reduction in the school system’s health-insurance premium costs from initial estimates. A similar percentage reduction was applied to the town side of the municipal government. The health-insurance reduction brought the Board of Education’s request from $4.7 million, or 4.3%, to $4.2 million, or 3.9%. That request was still too high, Tesoro concluded. “If I had given the Board of Education their total request, the tax increase on the town would have been 4.1%, which is too much to ask of our businesses and residents during these difficult times,” she said.
As it stands, Tesoro’s $3.3 million increase for the school system is its highest increase in eight years.
In Tesoro’s proposal for 2021-2022, the town will apply $1.9 million from our General Fund to keep taxes in check. In addition, certain fees will be imposed on haulers at the transfer station.
This additional funding is necessary due to a significant revenue loss related to the impact of COVID-19. The budget also includes savings that will be generated from bond refundings.
Last year, the town applied $2.8 million from the General Fund and was consequently able to avoid a tax increase altogether. The town’s total unassigned general fund balance is currently $21.4 million.
“Our current budget year, 2020-2021, and the upcoming budget year, 2021-2022, are the most challenging budgets Trumbull has faced in decades, due to the unprecedented financial conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Tesoro said. “I am confident in the future of our community. Trumbull has proven once again to be a resilient community.”
2021 to 2022 Budget Report - First Selectman Budget Proposal (PDF)
2021 to 2022 Budget - First Selectman's Budget Proposal Transmittal Message (PDF)