Letter: Connecticut must take a hard look at itself

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To the editor,

I’ve been a resident of Beacon Falls for about four years and a resident of Connecticut for 13 years.

In that time I’ve seen my property taxes rise with no apparent relief in sight. It seems to me that Connecticut towns have a disregard for fiscal responsibility and appear to have little regard for the property taxes or a whole host of other taxes that Connecticut imposes on their residents. I realize that the towns’ expenses have to be met, and I’m not opposed to paying my fair share and have been for many, many years. But fiscal responsibility has to be paramount, especially in these difficult times.

I’ve seen millions of dollars dedicated to schools/education, with lavish buildings and grounds built for our children. However there really does not seem to be a commensurate pay back as in Connecticut you are just getting an average education, but at what cost?  I’ve outlined several troubling developments in Beacon Falls below:

-My understanding is that the Woodland High School may need a new roof, although the school building is only 12 years old. Who is responsible for such obvious mismanagement? 

-A new fire truck is needed (cost $700,000), but the town is in danger of loosing a grant from FEMA because the application process was somehow done incorrectly. 

-The town’s water treatment plant is on its last leg, after many years of operation and will require many millions to upgrade. Why haven’t funds been set aside each year for this eventuality?

-A recent audit shows that the Beacon Falls general fund is not balanced by $560,000. The auditor points out that this has the potential for theft (past, present and future).  Wow. And we as taxpayers should be happy with this?

These are just a few of the blunders and mismanagement I’ve seen in the few short years as a resident. I’m sure there are others of which I’m not aware of. The bottom line is that all of these blunders in the end cost the taxpayers money.

It’s been reported in the news recently that New York’s Governor Cuomo is proposing lower property taxes and lower corporate taxes. Apparently Mr. Cuomo recognizes that the exodus out of New York is due to excessive taxation and people/corporations will move to locations where the tax burden is much, much less. In fact when I go to New York I gas up there, as insane as that sounds, as gas prices are cheaper there.

When will Connecticut wake up to reality? Do we need United Technologies to move to South Carolina to stir us? 

Is Connecticut willing to take a hard look at itself and say: How can we cut our expenses? How can we consolidate towns into boroughs so that we can achieve efficiency? How can we eliminate the vehicle property tax? How can we give tax relief to our seniors, who are on fixed incomes, so they don’t have to move to Florida or the Carolinas or Texas for that matter?

Hans Wenzel

Beacon Falls

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