If you haven’t voted already, please come out to the Clune Center on Saturday between 8am – 6pm to vote in favor of the budgets and mill rate.
Our endorsement is not a given; it was earned by the hard and diligent work by the Board of Finance (“BOF”).
The Board of Education (“BOE”) initially asked the BOF for a 5.99% budget increase, which was later reduced to 4.5% after pointed questioning from the BOF. The Board of Selectmen asked for a 2.2% increase. In combination with the locked-in debt increase and a few other immovable factors, this yielded a tax increase of 5.69%.
During the 2021 election, the Republicans campaigned on bringing the budget process directly to the people. They lived up to that campaign promise. The BOF launched a survey to hear directly from the people of Wilton, which indicated that 67% of the town was opposed to the proposed tax increase. This survey provides statistical validation of what many of us felt – that a 5.5%+ tax increase was unfathomable.
Ultimately, after pouring through the numbers, the BOF determined that a 3.66% tax increase best balanced the needs of the town and the desires of the people. This tax increase involves a $2.5m increase to the school budget over last year (2.9%) and a ~$550k increase to the BOS budget (1.6% increase).
For the schools, the BOF’s goal was to keep per-student spending growth at a similar or greater level as other surrounding towns to ensure our schools remain competitive.
A combination of the budget increase and declining enrollment resulted in our per pupil spending growing >4%, which is commensurate with other towns.
On the town budget, the BOF felt confident that a $550,000 increase would still enable the town to invest in the amenities that the BOS felt were necessary (such as hiring one additional police officer).
Please join us in voting in favor of this budget this Saturday at the Clune Center. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.