We invite you to join with The Federation of Connecticut Taxpayer Organizations, Inc. (FCTO) and work to
State and local government officials must understand that with every tax increase, they are negatively affecting the quality of life of Connecticut citizens who are left with less money to support their families. As you read the following, we ask that you consider signing FCTO’s Plan of Action which offers a viable Plan to control state spending and reduce your state and local taxes by
Connecticut’s government is in fiscal chaos. Your local property taxes are directly affected by the amount of money your Town or City receives from the State.
THE FEDERATION OF CT. TAXPAYER ORGANIZATIONS, INC. has issued an urgent call to Connecticut elected officials and those campaigning for state office to address the following issues.
(1) Review and revise binding arbitration laws and eliminate “secret” union contract negotiations …….. State legislators must give more control over the costs of government union contracts to the taxpayers who fund them. Approximately 70% to 90% of municipal budgets pay for government personnel expenses to include salaries, pensions, and healthcare. Union contract decisions are being made by independent arbitrators with no relationship to the municipality they are fiscally impacting.
Union contracts also continue to chisel away at management rights. A municipal Police Chief is prohibited from developing a cost effective work schedule without union approval in labor negotiations. Unions have also been successful in winning cases before arbitrators based on “Past Practice.” This is when an issue of dispute is not contained within a union contract but the union contends they have been allowed to do it over a period of time. Arbitrators have ruled that due to past practice management cannot prohibit the practice of driving home town owned vehicles.
As taxpayers are forced to fund lucrative government union contracts, the negotiation table should be moved out from behind closed doors and into the light of public debate!
Union contracts should also be subject to voter approval. An elected official wishing to win favor with the union, may sacrifice the interests of the taxpayers. In one town, the administration negotiated a lucrative pension contract which allows police personnel to work for five years prior to retirement, receive their full pay with overtime, concurrently assume retirement status, and have 96% of their pension deposited into a savings plan. At the end of five years, the employee will be given a check for the money which had been accumulating in their savings account. With some police retiring at $50,000, $60,000, and even $70,000 and more, that check can amount to over $350,000. With one union not wanting to be outdone by another, this perk will be showing up in union contracts throughout Connecticut.
(2) Limit Corporate Welfare and Connecticut’s Bonded Debt by requiring public financial disclosure of all corporations receiving state tax dollars…. Currently, millions of Connecticut taxpayer dollars have been invested in Corporations not required to publicly disclose their financial status or stability. The State’s bonded debt has increased to support these investments. Legislators should require that companies open their books to the public before investing our tax dollars.
(3) Establish fair and equitable taxation and control government spending by supporting Connecticut Proposition CT13….. State lawmakers should embrace Connecticut Proposition CT13 (Web site cttaxreform.com) which protects local property taxpayers by restricting the maximum amount of any ad valorum tax on real property to 1% of its full cash value, restricting property tax increases to a maximum of 2% in a calendar year as dictated by cost of living increases, and eliminating unfunded state mandates.
(4) Establish Local Top-Down Budgeting…..Prior to the enactment of Connecticut Proposition CT13, local property taxes can be brought under control through the adoption of Top-Down Budgeting. This method imposes a spending limit on local officials, similar to the Spending Cap limitation enacted at the State level. As taxpayers must live within their financial means, this method of budgeting forces local government officials to do the same.