Taxpayers: 9 percent increase is too much

NORWICH – City residents turned out to a special meeting of the Common Council Tuesday night with a plea that leaders take additional measures to lower the proposed 9.84 percent tax rate increase for the 2013 fiscal year.

The proposed city budget calls for a property tax rate of $20.76 per $1,000, which is a $1.86 increase over 2012. Raising the tax rate is action justified by the City Department of Finance to offset skyrocketing pension costs in recent years and necessary in sustaining vital services for residents; but also an increase that calls for a local law to override the state-imposed 2 percent tax rate levy for the second consecutive year.

Residents had the chance to voice their opinions last night, many of them upset about the rate increase and the timing in which they were notified. Public suggestions to lower the taxes ranged from consolidation of city services and increased charges of said services for contracting townships, to more utilization of volunteers for the city’s fire department.

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