Newtown’s fourth budget referendum has failed once again. It’s been over two months since the first budget vote in April and the Legislative Council still has not put forth a budget that Newtown voters will approve.
This failed budget would have been a .9% increase to Newtown taxpayers. Two distinct groups of voters combined to narrowly defeat this budget for the fourth time. One group advocates “no” increase in the budget and the other group advocates adding more to the education budget.
This presents a dilemma for the Legislative Council. They will again deliberate Wednesday evening to recommend yet another budget for the town.
The first vote on Newtown’s 2012-2013 budget referendum took place on April 24th and represented a 2.34% tax increase.
The Legislative Council interpreted the significant no vote to mean the voters wanted a decrease to the budget so one day after the initial budget referendum failed they voted 10 - 1 to decrease the education side of the budget by $1 million.
On May 15th the budget referendum, which now represented a 1.28% tax increase to taxpayers, went down in failure by 77 votes.
The Legislative Council then unanimously approved reducing the fund balance expense by $200,000 and did not make any other adjustments. This resulted in more voters who wanted money added back to the education budget to advocate a no vote.
On June 5th the third budget failed by 114 votes so the Legislative Council then passed a budget that took $240 thousand from a fund balance and give the Board of Education $200 thousand of it that could be used for capital projects and reduced the Selectmen’s budget by a net of $120,000 after they were given $40,000 from the fund balance to use.
The voters defeated this budget today by 19 votes.
The Legislative Council will meet at 7:30pm in the Board Room of the Municipal Center Wednesday evening to further discuss the 2012- 2013 budget.