Regionalism, State-Local Collaboration Key to Fiscal Future

The Connecticut Institute for the 21st Century, in a report issued this month and highlighted at a CCSU conference this week, has found that Connecticut’s local expenditures now total $12 billion annually, and have risen 262% faster than the median income in Connecticut over the past 6 years. The organizations reports that:

  • Local expenditures increased 11.6% to $12 billion
  • Combined state and local expenditures increased 15.1% to $34.7 billion
  • Median personal income increased 3.2%

The report, “Framework for Connecticut’s Fiscal Future,” called for stronger action across municipalities in procurement reform, shared services, establishment of a uniform chart of accounts, and greater regional coordination in planning and development.  The document stressed that “home-rule” does not rule out cooperation.

Among the conclusions:  “Connecticut has too many state, local and education structures. They overlap, they are not aligned, they compete for funds.”  Beyond that, “the proliferation of local governments and the fragmentation of the state into tiny jurisdictions creates a staggering array of cots and a race to the bottom competition among municipalities for desirable commercial, industrial and residential taxes.”

The good news?  Connecticut has the resources to enable change, can redefine regional structures, break down state agency silos and achieve procurement reform.  And those are among the recommendations.