To the Editor:
What is the message in this new pattern of budget rejections? There may be some plausible factors that are emerging that were not previously evident in the past. Every election result represents the thinking of those who voted. In this most recent defeat of the budget, there seems to be a segment of the population that is unwilling to support the sharp rise in the mill rate that will increase the real estate taxes of some seniors by 30 percent.
In one senior community, 70 percent of the residents will see a sharp increase. Many of them live on a fixed budget and consequently they will have to consider selling their homes because they realize that Connecticut is not “senior friendly.” It is a well known fact that Connecticut is the worst state in which to retire. Many other states like New York have a Star program that provides some tax relief for seniors. Newtown offers a tax relief program that is available to some seniors but not to all the seniors who make up about 24 percent of the population. Trumbull has recently instituted a tax relief program that seems to be more equitable than Newtown's.
Is it possible that seniors were a segment of the population who defeated the budget? They have been instrumental in defeating other budgets in other towns. Is it possible that some of them believe they have been left out of the “social equation”? Whatever happened to the idea of “taxation with representation"? Seniors have serious tax concerns that will eventually impact their quality of life. One of these is the new increased tax burden for which now there is no appeal process. Is it possible that other segments of the population are also concerned about their future?
60 Watkins Drive, Sandy Hook May 14, 2013