Final Analysis

Republicans on the Legislative Council agree it is appropriate to present a 3% increased budget to the voters.

 

In an effort to reach a reasonable compromise, Newtown Republicans have reduced proposed spending and identified savings that can be removed from the budget without an effect on services. We believe when savings can be realized through competitive pricing and increased efficiencies, a budget reflecting these savings should be presented to taxpayers at referendum.  We call these savings “commodities”.

 

Did you know nearly $1.7 Million in savings were realized by the town without making a single cut?

State Education Cost Savings (ECS) Grant – At least $400,000

Self Funded Health Insurance for both the School & Town - Saving close to $1 million

Combining School & Town Health Insurance Representatives - Saving more than $70k

Renegotiation of Electricity Contracts - Saving more than $120k

Renegotiation of Fuel Contracts - Saving more than $100k.

 

Did you know of the $2.5 Million Dollar Reduction in the Board of Education’s requested budget at least $1.45M could be realized through Commodity Savings?




Did you know Republicans, continuing to scour the budget for more cost effective operational options, have suggested the following possibilities?

Early Retirement Incentive - could save up to $300k

Combining School & Town Overhead Operations - could save more than $100k

Reorganizing Elementary Schools - could save up to $300k and retain low class sizes

Newtown Republicans believe these savings, along with other ideas, could be utilized so that educational services are not adversely affected.

 

Our goal is to bring taxpayers the most cost-effective budget possible.

 

Did you know by spending within our means, Newtown has benefited from over $1.5 million in savings on interest payments this year alone?  If not for our prudent financial decisions, this money would have had to be raised through taxation.

 

There has been a great deal of discussion about using commercial development to help lower the burden of relying on property taxes.

Did you know it would require almost a doubling of the top ten taxpayers in Town to realize a reduction of one mil of taxation (approximately $4 million dollars) and there are many commercial vacancies in Town?

 

Republicans agree it is important to have a successful first referendum.

Did you know bond rating agencies view towns favorably when voters approve a referendum the first time?

Did you know, because of our favorable rating, Newtown has benefited from over $1.5 million in savings on interest payments this year alone?

 

Republicans agree compromise is the best way to present the budget to the voters.

Did you know Republicans believe the 5% budget increase originally requested was too high and faced with reduced revenues a flat budget would be too onerous so a 3% budget increase was agreed upon?

Did you know the Legislative Council voted 9 to 3 to approve a 3% budget increase and the three dissenting votes were from the IPN who wanted to increase spending dramatically over the 3%?

 

There has been discussion by some groups to vote “No” on the referendum in an effort to increase the education budget.  In order to accomplish this, the voters would have to reject the budget and eight of twelve members of the Legislative Council would have to vote to increase the budget.  This effort was not successful prior to sending the budget to referendum.  Why would it be logical to expect that the budget would be increased after a large majority of the Legislative Council already voted not to increase the budget?

 

Did you know the IPN has argued for passing the budget directly to the voters and bypassing the Board of Finance and Legislative Council?

How does that best serve the taxpayers?  Like our state and federal governments, Newtown’s government is a representative form with a system of checks and balances described in our charter.  Our government, which was created by the voters, empowers our elected officials to examine all the requests, come to reasonable conclusions, and vote in the best interests of all our constituents.

 

During difficult times, clarity and facts are more important than ever. Republicans have worked very hard this year to understand every aspect of our budget and all sides of the various issues to separate the proverbial “wheat from the chaff”.

 

There has been a great deal of discussion about per Pupil expense.  Did you know Newtown residents spend the second most per household on education in our DRG?



The above chart compares towns in Newtown’s District Reference Group (DRG).

All information is from the Connecticut Economic Resource Center (CERC) Town Profiles.

Average cost per household removes portion of school expenditures paid for by commercial/industrial tax base in each town then divide by the number of households in said town.  While Newtown is 13 of 19 in our DRG for per pupil expenditures, we rate second for average cost per household.

 

 

What do Republicans Think?

 

Every elected Newtown Republican believes in education.  As elected officials, Newtown Republicans have an obligation to listen to all voices in our community. We represent every taxpayer including the 3,800 adult residents without health insurance, families who cannot afford groceries as well as those eligible for title 1 benefits providing necessities such as school lunch and milk.  These are some of our residents who cannot afford a tax increase.  We also understand many residents insist upon quality town and educational services.  We must balance the needs of our community with the ability of all taxpayers to pay for them.  To achieve this balance, Newtown Republicans have done their due diligence in researching and presenting a responsible budget for these difficult economic times.