Letter to the editor: Tax increase is ill-timed

Tax increase is ill-timed

“Timing”—it’s not only the key to a good joke, good governance could use a bit of it, too. The problem with the timing of Ms. Kupchick’s proposed mill-rate increase right now isn’t even just pandemic-related — it goes beyond the hammering that so many Fairfield families and businesses took this past year and our ongoing uncertainty as we all try to figure out what now lies ahead.

The additional problem is that this hike comes hot on the heels of the recent five-year revaluation that has suddenly “super-sized” Ms. Kupchick’s “modest” 2 percent mill-rate increase into a double-digit tax hit for many Fairfield families — especially in the town’s more modest neighborhoods where the frontline and essential workers who saw us through the pandemic are more likely to live.

For example, according to records on the town’s website, homeowners in and around Tunxis Hill are looking at a tax hike of 15 percent this year due to the mill-rate increase on top of the revaluation. The folks around King’s Highway will take a similar hit. My own Reef Road neighborhood is bracing itself not only for the full return of college-ragers and emergency sirens wailing throughout the night but also for nearly 19 percent more in taxes — thank you, neighbors, for your forbearance.

True, for some homeowners the outlook is pretty good — some Fairfield neighborhoods will be getting big tax cuts even after Ms. Kupchick’s proposed mill-rate change. Congratulations to Greenfield Hill, Southport, Sasco Hill and The Ridge. But for those of us outside pressed up against the window looking in, this additional tax hike makes for very bad timing, indeed.

Fiscal responsibility is no joke and some tax hikes can’t be helped, but I urge Ms. Kupchick, the Board of Finance and the RTM to go back and consider whether all of the spending increases driving this extra tax hit are absolutely necessary right now, at this time of all times. The revaluation landed on us like a bomb — at least give us a brief intermission before you hit us with your new material.

Gerald G. Reidy, Fairfield