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Grassroots Group 'Fairfield Taxpayer' Takes Message to the Web

The organization's foal is to preserve Fairfield 'as a desirable and affordable community for all its residents.'

Budget season has arrived in Fairfield, and there is a group of residents prepared to meet it head-on.

Fairfield Taxpayer is a "nonpartisan grassroots group of taxpayers who are passionate about preserving Fairfield as a desirable and affordable community for all its residents," according to the Fairfield Taxpayer Facebook page.

After building an online presence through Facebook and Twitter (follow @FairfieldTaxPay), the group has launched a website: http://www.fairfieldtaxpayer.com.

The grassroots group -- comprised of members from "virtually all corners of town," according to the website, was formed during the height of the 2012 budget season to "facilitate an informed decision -- not an argument -- over what we, the town's taxpayers, wanted Fairfield to be in the coming decade."

The goal of Fairfield Taxpayer is for the voices of residents to resonate with other taxpayers and especially with elected officials -- "the folks that we have empowered to make Fairfield the best it can be."

Visitors to the website will find an analysis of Fairfield's school budget compared to other districts; a collection of letters to the editor from Fairfield Taxpayer members; charts depicting taxes on home values, residential spending as a percent of wealth, the rise in state spending over the past two decades; and more.

The launch of the website comes just in time for Fairfield's budget season to heat up. The Board of Education is scheduled to adopt the 2013-2014 school budget tonight and the First Selectman will unveil the town's operating budget in mid-February. A final vote on the budget by the RTM is scheduled for early May.

To become part of Fairfield Taxpayer, either sign up through the website or email FairfieldTaxpayer@gmail.com.

Bob MacGuffie January 29, 2013 at 01:17 PM
Great to see another grassroots group spring up to awaken Fairfielders to the necessity of getting involved in our town's government. The more people involved should mean the more fiscally responsible the town's finances will become. The town's leadership has been profligate over the past decade and has set us on the path to municipal bankruptcy. Much has to be unwound and hopefully Fairfield Taxpayer will serve to awaken the community to the poor leadership we've had in the first selectman's office for far too long, and suggest a more responsible path before our finances are irretrievably lost.
Nicole Belson Goluboff January 29, 2013 at 02:10 PM
One issue Fairfield Taxpayer should include in its agenda is the double taxation of Fairfield residents who work for New York employers and choose to telecommute sometimes. Under a New York State tax rule known as the “convenience of the employer” rule, New York can tax 100% of the wages these workers earn – not just the part of their salaries they earn in New York, but also the part they earn at home, in Fairfield. Because Connecticut can also tax the wages they earn in Connecticut, Fairfield telecommuters must pay taxes to both states on the same income. The double tax threat can make working from home too expensive. In so doing, New York’s taxation of Fairfield workers frustrates their efforts to juggle job and family responsibilities, cut commuting costs, reduce time wasted in traffic and increase their productivity. In previous sessions of Congress, Connecticut delegates have introduced legislation – the Telecommuter Tax Fairness Act – that would put an end to the double taxation of Fairfield residents. These lawmakers should reintroduce the bill now and assure that it finally becomes law.
Perry January 29, 2013 at 05:27 PM
Its time for the Country/Beach clubs in town to pay their fair share of taxes to help the rest of us who can't afford to belong!
TJC January 29, 2013 at 05:47 PM
do they not pay taxes now?
Nonsense January 29, 2013 at 06:29 PM
I think these grassroot groups are great, but they really need to be sure of their research methodology. You cant simply look at other communities in Fairfield County, you have to examine communites with similar demographics. Fairfield is a 'town' but it is a BIG town and legally meets the threshold to be a city. They should include comparisons to similiar communites such as: Hamden, Milford, West Haven, West Hartford, Manchester, etc. Otherwise, you run the risk of not getting facts, but just the results you want to hear...maybe thats their goal anyway, I'm just saying you cant randomly choose your sampling pool. Also, Im not sure, but do each of the town cited have their own schools/school systems..or do they share high schools, etc??
roger daltrey January 29, 2013 at 10:47 PM
lets have a big retirement party for fire chief felner.hey,its a start.and I hope the clowns on the fire commission join him.
Nonsense January 29, 2013 at 11:11 PM
You're right Roger. For some reason the guy is untouchable! What people dont realize about this whole promotion thing is this: The contract allows for the actual promotions, so "technically" he did nothing wrong...the real issue involves the Asst Chief position at the Fire Training Grounds. That position offers a pay boost (I dont know..8-10% a year). When several of his Asst Chiefs said they were going to retire, he pursposely kicked the guy that was at the training grounds out, and put him back on the line (Tracy maybe??), so that those two Asst Chiefs could rotate through the training grounds and retire with an extra 8-10% a year. They were both in the position for like 2 weeks before they left! He says he didnt know they were going to retire?!? BS!! They were counting down..EVERYONE KNEW!!
brian kelly January 30, 2013 at 01:36 AM
the reasons why i moved to the town of fairfield 13 years ago, these same reasons on longer exist! i might as well live on the upper east side of manhattan...
Brian January 30, 2013 at 02:14 AM
Choosing your sample pool isn't very convincing. However, in Connecticut, where there were once ERG's, there now exist District Reference Groups. These may offer a more accurate comparison than the Fairfield Taxpayer's pool. http://acts.uconn.edu/jump-drive-docs/2-List%20of%20CT%20DRGs/CT%20DRGs.pdf
roger fuller January 30, 2013 at 02:56 AM
The guy is "untouchable" because he follows the rules and does as he is told and he is proactive in his job. When are you cornballs going to figure that out. Have you seen the humanitarian awards he has amassed over the years?
suzy squatsandgetsit January 30, 2013 at 12:17 PM
so roger fuller,seems you're just fine with chief felners antics. you are part of the problem. I don't give a flying f-ck about his humanitarian awards. what he did might have been legal,but it was grossly unethical,and a man of principal would not have gone along with it. get real roger. I think you are "fuller"of it.
Concerned Parent February 04, 2013 at 05:15 PM
I moved to Fairfield because of the great schools and the commitment to education. The "Fairfield Taxpayer" organization claims their goal is to make our town "desirable and affordable". Let's be honest. The people behind this organization are some of the wealthiest people in town who live in multi-million dollar houses, and send their children to private school. Yes, their taxes are very high on their expensive homes, and they are not taking advantage of our great public schools, but it is very selfish of them to try to water down our kids' education to reduce their tax bill. If you can't afford the property tax on your mansion, buy a cheaper house, but leave our children's schools alone! Let our children get a good education, so they can be successful and buy a mansion like yours when they grow up. Reducing the quality of our schools will reduce property values, which in the end will hurt you as much as everyone else.
Igor February 04, 2013 at 05:53 PM
Two points of notice. #1 Nicole where would you stop paying the taxes? NY or CT.? #2 Roger the Chief should lead by example. There are a lot of things legal in this country (foreclosing on your grandmother, taking candy from a baby etc etc) but is it right? No! He knows that he is technically right but in essence is stealing from every tax payer in Fairfield. In a time where every dime counts (school budget) he is also taking from the kids.
Nicole Belson Goluboff February 12, 2013 at 01:09 PM
The Telecommuter Tax Fairness Act would eliminate the risk of double taxation, prohibiting New York from reaching into Fairfield to tax the wages that Fairfield residents earn at home. Fairfield residents must let Congress know it's time to make this proposed legislation the law.
Renee March 22, 2013 at 12:34 AM
Agree, it is totally unacceptable that he they are getting away with this fraudulent !!!
Renee March 22, 2013 at 12:49 AM
Town employees have better health insurance coverage than the average citizen with no deduction for dental visits. It is about time that we exam the cost of their health insurance coverage and expect higher deductibles to lower the the cost for coverage. The same goes for pensions; increase the percentage of contributions and extend the number of years of service before pensions can be collected.
Leigh March 22, 2013 at 01:10 AM
+1 Renee. Absolutely agree. Huge increases in cost of claims paid from health & welfare benefits for Education employees. How about some cost sharing instead of artificially low co-pays or rx services. Or better yet, stop self-insuring the plan & outsource the management to a provider that will help tailor costs. Right now the town pays for all claims out of pocket and uses the insurer to administer the plan. Let United Health Care or Aetna provide a flat cost per plan participant so that the town can better manage its health care budget. Provide incentives for employees who get screened for high blood pressure and cholesterol. Let's bring the town's health benefits in line with those in the private sector.
Russell Newberry March 22, 2013 at 10:35 AM
Well glad to see there is a "new" grassroots group. If they really want to keep Fairfield the affordable and as it was, the first place to work on is the Planning and Zoning commission. If you look at areas of town build up in the 50s, 60s, 70s and even a bit of the 80s the homes beening build were working class very moderately priced cape cods, ranchs and raised ranchs on 3/4 acre lots. Zoning now allows builders and fools alike to build 8000 sq feet of house on an 1/8 or 1/2 acre of land. Destroying the flavor of Fairfield by one "just look at those rediculous houses and two by driving housing prices through the roof, third forcing the working class of Fairfield out of Fairfield. There were always "rich" areas of Fairfield, Sasco Hill parts of Greenfield Hill but not all of it. Many parts of Greenfield Hill when I was growing up were filled with what we called "swamp yankees". They were town residents of a working class nature and many of them had built their own houses up there. So Renee and nonsense and leigh and igor or is it egor and roger daltry get yourselves off the idea town employees are destroying a once pretty place called Fairfield and point yourselves at the real problems.

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