The Norwalk Common Council set a $317.9 million budget cap for 2014-15 expenditures Tuesday night after deciding to cut off $500,000 from Finance Director Thomas Hamilton's recommended cap.
It's a 2.9 percent increase, the lowest in three years. The council says will hit taxpayers in the fifth and sixth taxing districts the hardest.
"The first district, downtown will experience a -4 percent tax in their tax bill," said councilman Bruce Kimmel. "The second district in South Norwalk, the median tax bill will go down 13.3 percent. The third taxing district the median bill will go down 8.5 percent and the fourth district, the largest district in the city, I think by far, the median tax bill will increase, but by only 1.2 percent. The difficulties with re-val is if you go this time around to the fifth and sixth taxing district. The median tax bill in the fifth district which is the non-sewer part of the city primarily up in the north of the merit, up in Cranberry, that will go up 6 percent, and in the sixth taxing district in West Norwalk and Rowayton, it's about 8.2 percent."
Revaluations occur every five years. The new budget will be officially set in July. The council estimates about $16.2 million to be spent in intergovernmental grants, and $301.8 million in property tax dollars.
"In the fifth and sixth taxing district," said councilman Dave McCarthy. "We're looking at significant tax increases before the impact of the budget is even felt."
"It's very hard to raise taxes on anybody," said council majority leader Jerry Petrini. "But I've been there for the people. How would you like to be living in an area, where every time it rains you have to be careful on whether or not you can even leave because you might be flooded. We're an old city. There's a lot of infrastructure problems that we have to address and it takes money."