Dear Senators and State Representatives,
Please vote NO on Housing SB998, FAIR SHARE which narrowly passed in the House in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday (2:08 am.) Such a bill will permanently change our State and totally disregards CT’s residents.
Most were sleeping while an amendment was made to “An Act Establishing a Tax Abatement for Certain Conservation Easements”, which establishes creation of municipal “Fair Share” Allocations to be decided by a state bureaucrat in “consultation” with undefined organizations and housing advocates. This is not a “study” as was promoted by Democrat Leadership.
A proper study would be broad, unbiased and empirical – it would evaluate other funding options as well which might prove to be more economical: vouchers, EIC tax credits, buying down existing housing stock for affordable housing. A bona fide “study group” would include representation from minority party and local leaders to consider all possible options.
Do not be fooled, the allocation method detailed in the bill is the same one from 3 years ago, we know the numbers and they are unworkable. Open Communities Alliance’s reckless methodology is completely unburdened by highly relevant, hyper local, and often unique factors by municipality: market demand, sewer, water, schools and other infrastructure capacity, economic opportunity, jobs availability, % of developable land, existing density, existing affordable housing (not just what is recognized under 8-30g) proximity to transit, distance to jobs, and more factors. The model just mandates punitive allocations in a complete vacuum based on affluence of a community.
New Jersey Fair Share Advocates have even stated CT’s plan is unattainable! If passed, Fair Share would bring New Jersey’s decades of oppressive mandates on town, escalating property taxes and unending litigation to CT, raising our property taxes to be #1, ahead of New Jersey.
Meaningful housing reform requires the voices of all stakeholders. It is LOCAL zoning and planning commissioners who are accountable to the voters, and have a vested interest in the long term economic and environmental health of their towns. Passage of this bill is not equal and fair representation of all constituents.
Thanks to members of both parties who voted against the bill in the house – despite being strong-armed. Representing your constituents and the interests of your town is an awesome responsibility. This is a polite reminder that we are aware of what is happening in Hartford and we are watching closely!
Every town in Connecticut, whether a small city, town or hamlet will be impacted by this bill.
Please VOTE NO on policies that will have negative and lasting implications on our towns. Thank you for your representation and service to our State.
Sincerely, Connecticut Resident