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2 FAILED REFERENDUMS

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REPUBLICANS: THE PARTY OF YES AND KNOW

FY23 Budget – 2 Failed Referendums saved taxpayer $900,000

 

YES. Republicans fought to prevent Lisa Thomas and the Democrat Council from raising your taxes. We thank YOU for standing with us to defeat 2 budget referendums.

 

We KNOW. Even though a no mill rate increase in the FY23 budget would bring in over $1.17m in new taxes because of the INCREASE in values of our vehicles, Lisa Thomas and the Democrat Council tried to increase taxes by another $900,000 at first and then by almost $500,000. Our Republican Council members fought and stopped them – with your help, when we defeated the first two budget referendums. Then after we reduced their budget by $900,000 the Town ended the fiscal year with a projected surplus. If Republicans held the majority, we would have been able to reduce the increase in spending and taxes even more.

We KNOW that our Republican Council members fought to use ARPA funds to pay off the accumulated deficit in the EMS fund that occurred prior to June 2022, during Covid. With no additional money from taxpayers in the FY23 budget, the EMS fund collected more revenues than it had expenses, during the 2022-2023 fiscal year. The fund ended the year with a small

surplus.

We KNOW that our EMS service and our wonderful volunteers have been used as a bargaining chip by Lisa Thomas and the Democrat Council to get you, Coventry taxpayers, to raise the mill rate in support of the EMS fund, when it is not necessary. The fund ran a surplus in FY 23, with no additional funding.

The 2022 – 2023 Budget

Reduced The Proposed Tax Increase by $900,000

 

In the spring of 2022, inflation was already the highest it had been in 40 years. Families were struggling to pay for record gasoline & heating oil costs and outrageous food prices.  We all wondered how we would make ends meet.  

 

With that as a backdrop, Town Council Chairwoman, Lisa Thomas, and the democrat majority on the Town Council, proposed to increase Coventry’s budget by about $2,000,000.  This was the largest proposed spending increase in over 14 years.

 

In January of 2022, the US Treasury had issue new guidance for the use of American Rescue Plan (ARP) federal covid grant funds. Originally, the use of these funds was restricted to very specific things all directly related to losses the town had suffered due to covid.  The US Treasury’s new guidance dropped all restrictions on the use of the remaining almost $3,000,000 in ARP funds could not be spent IN ANY WAY THE TOWN COUNCIL chose to spend them.

 

You may also remember that car prices, especially used car prices had gone through the roof.  In fact, because of the higher valuations of cars and other vehicles increased the Town’s grand list significantly, and the Town of Coventry was going to collect $1,180,000 in new taxes from Coventry taxpayers, than it received the year before WITH NO INCREASE IN THE MIL RATE.

 

This meant that because of the increase in motor vehicle assessments, most of Coventry’s taxpayers would already be paying considerably higher taxes. This tax increase on their vehicles was up to 30% or more, depending on the type of cay they owned.

 

Town Council Chairwoman, Lisa Thomas, proposed a budget that would increase the mil rate by .84 mils on top of the increase in car taxes.  The .84 mil rate increase represented an additional $893,678.52 in property taxes from Coventry taxpayers (one mil was $1,063,903).

 

Republicans fought hard to defeat this budget and with your help, this budget was soundly defeated at referendum.

 

In response, Town Council Chairwoman, Lisa Thomas, and the democrat majority on the Town Council proposed a new budget that would increase the mil rate by .46 mils (on top of the increase due to motor vehicle price inflation). The .46 mil rate increase represented an additional $489,395 in property taxes.

 

Republicans opposed this budget as well and with your help, this second budget was defeated at referendum.

 

Finally, Town Council Chairwoman, Lisa Thomas, under pressure from the two failed referendums, proposed a 0 mil rate increase budget and it finally passed.

With your help, Republicans were able to reduce the democrat tax increase by almost $900,000.

If Republicans had held a majority on the Town Council we would have been able to lower spending even more and reduce the increase in taxes, caused by the inflation of motor vehicles. 

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