Municipal Leaders Urge Governor Lamont to Include PILOT in Next Biennial Budget

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New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker and Twenty-Seven of his Counterparts Urge the Governor to Support PILOT Proposal from Sen. Martin Looney

NEW HAVEN, CT – On Friday, January 15, 2021, New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker and twenty-seven of his counterparts, executive office holders from across Connecticut, sent a letter advocating that Governor Ned Lamont include in his budget the necessary funding to implement a tiered Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program.

“I am inspired by the bi-partisan and collaborative nature of support for this initiative. Leaders representing small rural towns, large urban centers, Republicans and Democrats, all came together to advocate for more equitable funding for PILOT – a recognition that we as a state can work collaboratively together and that the financial success of each city and town is important to the success of us all,” said Mayor Elicker.

The proposal, to be put forward in this legislative session by Senator Martin Looney (D-New Haven), would create three tiers within the PILOT program to increase funding for municipalities with the greatest need while the program remains under-funded. In the last fiscal year, funding for both private college and hospital and state-owned tax-exempt property was below 30% of statutory funding. Under Senator Looney’s proposal, that reimbursement would increase to 50% for municipalities with the greatest need, 40% for those with moderate need, and 30% for municipalities with sufficient grand list value.

The group of signatories was a bipartisan group of Mayors, First Selectpersons, and Town Managers representing rural, suburban, and urban municipalities from across the state. In addition to the direct funding many of them would receive under this proposal, a number of municipal leaders signed on despite the proposal not resulting in significant revenue to their own municipalities. This is a recognition of the serious need for municipal aide to towns with a lack of taxable property, and the broader implications for the state if these programs remain so severely under-funded.

“We are optimistic that with the new budget projections for FY22, the statewide bipartisan support, and the Governor’s commitment to supporting communities in need and preventing tax increases – in this case preventing significant property tax hikes – that the necessary $114M will be included in the Governor’s budget and that the legislature will expediently pass Senator Looney’s tiered PILOT legislation,” Mayor Elicker concluded.

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