Greenwich: $142 to Hartford, $1 back.
For every $142 local residents pay out in state income tax, Greenwich gets about $1 back in municipal aid annually, according to a new study by the South Western Regional Planning Agency that has town officials once again saying that they are stuck in a one-way relationship.
Greenwich provided the state with $758 million, or just over 14 percent, of its income tax revenue in 2007, the most recent year that figures were available to the eight-municipality planning consortium.
On a per-capita basis, that works out to $12,420 for each of the town’s 61,101 residents as estimated by the 2000 Census.
The next closest municipality was Stamford, which accounted for $241 million, or 4.5 percent, in state income tax revenue.
Rep. Cameron Staples, D-New Haven, co-chairman of the General Assembly‘s Finance,Revenue and Bonding Committee, said the system was never intended to provide a return on contribution.
“State aid is not supposed to be, in my view, equitably distributed to towns,” Staples said. “State aid for the most part goes for services that the state needs to supplement at the local level. A town like Greenwich has the ability to fund most of its own services. The city of Bridgeport is not capable of fully funding its own education system.”
I’m not worried about getting money back from the yokels up north – it’s never going to happen. But if Greenwich and Stamford together are paying 20% of the income tax burden, it’s a fair bet that Fairfield County, with Westport, Darien and New Canaan being sucked dry too, is probably paying almost the full 100%. This is a pretty perilous way to run a state budget, I think. We don’t have to stick around to be bled, after all.