Car tax proposal-impact on Bethany

I thought it would be helpful to share with all of you the information I emailed to the Board of Finance before its special meeting on Feb. 21. According to an estimate by our tax assessor, Mario Panagrosso, Gov. M. Jodie Rell's car tax proposal would cost Bethany approximately $157,000. This is his best guess based on the 2005 Grand List and using the 2004 supplemental as an estimate.

Under the current property tax system, we can expect to receive $1,058,012 in revenue from the car tax on passenger vehicles and motorcycles (combination and commercial vehicles are not included in the Governor's proposal). The estimate for the grant to "replace" Bethany's lost revenue is $879,935. That would leave us with $156,917 less revenue.

Robert Genuario, Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, spoke at the Council of Small Towns (COST) Annual Meeting that I recently attended. Genuario listened to the issues members of COST had with this proposal, ie. the state's track record of keeping funding promises to the towns is abysmal, the proposed formula benefits cities because their collection rates are low, but small towns collect 97 percent of the motor vehicle tax and will be hurt by this. He responded that Gov. Rell feels that this is a good proposal; however, he made it clear that she is open to negotiation.

Voter canvass

Bethany's Registrars of Voters will be sending letters to those residents who are registered to vote but did not do so in the 2004 presidential election. This canvass is to determine if they still reside in Bethany and so should continue to be listed as a registered voter.

If you receive a letter, please read it carefully and take whatever action is appropriate for you. If you receive a notice for a member of your family who has moved away or the former owner of your home, please either forward the notice to them or contact the Registrars' office with this information. If you have any questions about the canvass or know of someone who has moved and may still be on the voting list, please contact Registrars Marian Ash (393-2723) or Will Brinton (393-3608).

The more cooperation our registrars receive from voters, the more accurate and up to date Bethany's voter registration list will be.

Derrylyn Gorski is Bethany First Selectwoman.