FAIRFIELD — A Board of Finance member accused the governor of rewarding bad behavior with a state budget proposal that makes significant cuts in state aid to suburbs but increases funding to large cities.

James Walsh’s remarks came Wednesday when First Selectman Mike Tetreau presented his budget proposal for fiscal year 2017-18. That spending plan cuts about $2 million from the $168.7 million spending plan offered by the Board of Education, but would still mean a 4.48 percent tax increase.

Tetreau’s budget proposal gives the school district a 1.87 percent increase over the current budget. The town side of the budget would grow 2.3 percent. Before he made his presentation Wednesday to a joint meeting of the Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance, the panels heard from the town’s state delegation.

The biggest problem for local officials is the state budget won’t be finalized prior to the town’s budget adoption, forcing them to either budget conservatively, and possibly increase the mill rate too much, or gamble and adopt a mill rate that is too low.

“(Gov. Dannel Malloy) is driving up our taxes to reward other communities that have had past corruption,” said Walsh, a member of the finance board. “They’re just going to be handed this money, and if you think its going to be well-spent, it’s not. To me, that money is going to be flushed down the toilet. You’re going to reward these communities, the urban centers, for past bad behavior.”

Walsh said, “it’s like he’s gone to war against our town. That’s what he’s done. I don’t consider our town to be rich.” He said what the governor has proposed will force towns like Fairfield to raise property taxes.

“This delegation is going to be fighting for everything we can,” state Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey, D-133, said. “This delegation is going to fight to do everything we can to bring back resources to Fairfield.”

State Sen. Tony Hwang said the state budget is a moving target and what is under discussion is the governor’s budget. The legislators, he said, are in constant meetings working on the budget. “This is another example for us to listen to you and take that feedback into our meetings,” Hwang said, adding that he fears a state budget might not be finalized until mid-summer.

“It seems the communities that are the best managed, the best run, are the hardest hit,” added state Rep. Laura Devlin, R-134.

All three said they do not support the governor’s proposal. State Rep. Brenda Kupchick, R-132, was unable to attend due to a family matter.

The first selectman’s total budget proposal is $308.8 million, a figure Tetreau said is due in large part to a loss in state aid coupled with a potential $9.2 million payment into the state’s teacher pension fund. Without that payment, he said, his proposed budget would mean a less than 1.5 percent tax increase.

“While many are predicting significant changes to the State’s final budget, these are the only definitive numbers we have at this time,” Tetreau said. “Therefore I have accounted for the full $14.2 million negative state impact and taken steps to mitigate that impact in my proposed budget.”

A 4.48 percent tax increase means a new tax rate of 26.59 mills. The current mill rate is 25.45.

The first selectman said the primary drivers on the town side of the budget are pension costs, debt service, contingency for salaries and wages, health insurance, contribution to surplus and retiree medical expenses.

“This proposed budget includes significant reduction to the police, fire, public works, library, parks and recreation, and conservation budgets to help mitigate the impact of the state cuts and cost transfers,” Tetreau said. If definitive answers from the state are received prior to the final vote on the budget, he said changes will be made to restore services and reduce the tax increase.

greilly@ctpost.com; @GreillyPost