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[UPDATE] How Does Fairfield's Tax Rate Compare?

A look at the budgets and taxes of towns or cities of comparable population size to Fairfield.

[Editor's Note: The table and text have been edited to provide a more accurate budget and mill rate comparison for Fairfield and similar towns or cities.]

The 2011-2012 budget may be set in stone, but Nov. 8 marks a new opportunity for Fairfield residents to influence the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 budget and mill rate by voting for the representatives they deem best suited to lead the town.

With that in mind, here's some food for thought.

The following table provides a comparison between Fairfield and other towns included in the State Department of Education’s District Reference Group (DRG) Two. DRGs -- formerly Education Reference Groups – group together towns and cities with populations defined by similar socioeconomic qualities (i.e. median incomes, occupations, and educational backgrounds) according to the educational advocacy group Connecticut Voices for Children.  

The populations for each municipality's listed reflect the most recent population estimate statistics (2010) according to the Connecticut Department of Public Health

Budget and mill rate information was found on each town or city's Web page.  Several towns did not have final, approved versions of their budgets posted online, as described in the table.

Stay tuned during the coming week for departmental budget comparisons between Fairfield and some of the DRG Two towns.

Town/City Population FY 2012 Budget FY 2012 Mill Rate Mill Rate Difference from FY 2011 Type of Government

Avon 18,145 $74,584,980 25.04 mills .6 mill increase Town Manager with Town Council Yes Brookfield 16,470 $55,314,000 19.94 mills .47 mill increase Board of Selectmen Yes Cheshire 29,260 $97,723,450 26.85 mills .35 mill increase Town Manager with Town Council No Fairfield 59,413 $263,073,943 22.47 mills 3.2 mill increase Selectmen with Representative Town Meeting No Farmington 25,368 $87,622,086 21.27 mills 0.81 mill increase Town Manager with Town Council Yes Glastonbury 34,467 $137,864,917 30.05 mills 0.4 mill increase Town Manager with Town Council No Granby 11,292 Approved budget not online     Board of Selectman Yes Greenwich 61,119 $358,057,524 10.11 mills 1.24 mill increase Selectmen with Representative Town Meeting No Guilford 22,411 Approved budget not online     Board of Selectmen Yes Madison 18,266 $70,721,039 19.43 mills 0.13 mill increase Board of Selectmen Yes Monroe 19,466 $77,562,836 29.03 mills .77 mill increase First Selectman with Town Council Yes New Fairfield 13,871 Approved budget not online     Board of Selectmen Yes Newtown 27,605 $105,555,075 24.37 mills .37 mill increase Board of Selectmen with Legislative Council Yes Orange 13,968 Approved budget not online     Board of Selectmen Yes Simbsury 23,507 Approved budget not online     Board of Selectmen Yes South Windsor 25,751 Approved budget not online     Town Manager with Town Council No Trumbull 36,062 Approved budget not online     First Selectman with Town Council No West Hartford 63,362 $226,930,262 39.44 1.06 mill increase Town Manager with Town Council No Woodbridge 8,989 $42,373,913 33.08 0.03 mill decrease Board of Selectmen Yes
Gerald Kuroghlian October 17, 2011 at 01:41 PM
In comparing towns it would be better to use the RG, reference group, prepared by the state that includes income, size, education etc. Fairfield is in Reference Group # 2 Please compare apples to apples when you are making a point as only Greenwich is in our group.
Caitlin Mazzola (Editor) October 17, 2011 at 03:13 PM
Thank you for that point. I will work on a more comprehensive comparison chart with the Reference Group, to have on hand on the site.
David Riordan October 18, 2011 at 01:55 AM
Never mind the population size etc. What you are creating is a place that some of us has chosen to live in 50 years ago and now in our retirement years can't afford to stay.
Hugh Dolan October 18, 2011 at 02:33 AM
These raw numbers do not show the rampant watse and over-spending built into the annual budgets. Certainly, we do not advocate Fairfield becoming West Haven; We like our children and families to live, study and recreate in peace without fear of becoming a victim of crime. But just as assuredly, we do not want to become the spend thrift Greenwich is-- a population loaded with cash and willing to spend it on every whim. Fairfield invited families because of it's reasonable tax structure, as well as it's schools and amenities. Now, the over bearing burden of the property tax on homeowners, seniors, middle -class earners and small businesses is so great that Fairfield is , literally, killing the goose that laid the golden egg. Our long-time citizens have bought and paid for our schools, our streets, our parks, bridges, libraries, fire houses and police cars ; yet it is they who are being forced to leave to escape the inordinate taxes. Our Rescue Plan will cut wasteful spending and lower taxes for all. Hugh Dolan, First Selectman Candidate of the Independent Party.
Anna Pinto October 20, 2011 at 04:28 PM
We have tried all of the "so-called conventional" candidates with little luck in controlling our run-a-way Town and Education budgets. I think it is time let a fiscally astute candidate like Hugh Dolan take a shot at it. I think his background will lead him to look at every item in the budget with fresh eyes. We can't continue to rubber stamp expenses just because its the way we used to do it. If we continue to hide from the fiscal realities and fail to get our taxes/spending under control, Fairfield will cease to be the bucolic place which attracted all of us here in the first place. We must take reasonable austerity steps now to avoid drastic steps in the future. I think we should give Dolan a chance.
Eleanor Bruce October 20, 2011 at 06:38 PM
Residents of Bell, Calif., paid huge tax bills and lavish salaries, The Times reported earlier this week that the city had cut spending on police and community services, even as it continued to raise salaries for City Manager Robert Rizzo, Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia and Police Chief Randy Adams to some of the highest in the nation. Adams’ salary was $457,000 and Spaccia’s was $376,000 before all three resigned amid the public uproar created after the Times reported the amounts earlier this month.
Frank Lombardo October 21, 2011 at 04:33 PM
Moving here just under 2 years ago, all I see is tax and spend and the train station Flatto fiaso. Hope they don't dump this cost on the backs of the taxpayers of Fairfield, taxes here are high enough. This chart shows the big bait & switch. Devalue real estate and the raise the mill rate costing us higher taxes than before! I think a change is due for fiscal conservatism.

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