Bergstein: Statewide Property Tax Would Devastate Fairfield County

On Friday, State Senator Alex Bergstein (D-Greenwich) released a joint statement with State Senator Will Haskell (D-Westport) and State Representative Lucy Dathan regarding two recent bill proposals on regionalization.

“We have deep respect for Senator Looney and are always open to discussing the difficult issues facing our state, including the issue of regionalization, because finding efficiencies in state spending is a priority for us,” Bergstein wrote in the joint statement. “However, we cannot support SB 454 to regionalize our schools. Nor can we support SB 431, which includes a property tax increase that would be devastating to residents of Fairfield County.”

Bergstein said that increasing property taxes only encourages people to leave Connecticut, and slows the state’s economic rehabilitation.

“As members of the Democratic caucus, we’re determined to make Connecticut a more affordable state for our constituents to live in,” Bergstein, Dathan and Haskell wrote.

An Act Concerning  Property Tax Reform – Sen. Looney, 11th Dist.
Statement of Purpose: To reform the property tax system

That the general statutes be amended to (1) establish a $50,000 homestead exemption to be applied to assessed value of one to four family owner-occupied residences; (2) establish a one mill state-wide tax on real property with an adjustment for the homestead exemption; (3) repeal the municipal property tax on motor vehicles; (4) enact a state-wide motor vehicle tax of at least fifteen mills, but no more than nineteen mills; (5) apply the receipts of the state-wide taxes established in subdivisions (2) and (4) of this section to (A) fund PILOT program reimbursements to municipalities, (B) increase special education grants to municipalities, and (C) apply remaining funds to education and alliance district grants; and (6) exempt the first twenty-five thousand dollars of assessed value of business personal property from municipal property tax.

An Act Concerning the Creation of Regional School Districts.
Statement of Purpose: To create a more efficient educational system

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

That part III of chapter 164 be amended to create a commission responsible for developing a plan to implement regional consolidation of school districts, and that such plan shall (1) realign those school districts with a total student population of fewer than forty thousand students, except those regional school districts that provide instruction for grades kindergarten to twelve, inclusive, in manner similar to the probate districts set forth in section 45a of the general statutes, and require such school districts to join a regional school district, (2) when a newly created regional school district affects two or more collective bargaining units, (A) allow the employees of the newly consolidated regional school district to be represented by a coalition of the existing collective bargaining units or create a new collective bargaining unit for such regional school district, and (B) require, upon expiration of existing collective bargaining agreements for single town school districts that have been consolidated, any subsequent collective bargaining agreement to be negotiated on a regional basis, and (3) become effective state-wide for the school year commencing July 1, 17, 2021, if such plan has not been approved by the General Assembly and signed into law on or before July 1, 2020.