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Measuring Municipal Fiscal Disparities in Connecticut

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New England Public Policy Center Research Report 15-1

MEASURING MUNICIPAL FISCAL DISPARITIES IN CONNECTICUT

by Bo Zhao Jennifer Weiner

is now available on the Boston Fed’s web site:

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-Abstract-

Fiscal disparities exist when some municipalities face higher costs for

providing a given level of public services or fewer taxable resources to

finance those services than others. A municipality’s economic and social

characteristics can affect both costs and resources.

The potential for fiscal disparities in Connecticut is particularly high given

the vast socioeconomic differences observed across the state’s 169 cities

and towns.  This paper measures the non-school fiscal health of Connecticut

municipalities using a “municipal gap.” Municipal gap is the difference between

the uncontrollable costs associated with providing public services and the

economic resources available to a municipality to pay for those services.

<http://www.bostonfed.org/economic/neppc/researchreports/2015/rr1501.htm?wt.source=neppc_ctgap_email>

AARP Publishes Liveable Communities Index

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AARP Livable Communities

You can find out right now by typing your address — or any U.S. address, zip code, town or city name — into the AARP Livability Index, a new online tool that calculates a score based on the latest data and indicators about an area’s housing, transportation, economy, community services and more. Since the index is customizable, users can find scores based on the features that matter to them most.

Try the tool »

Livability Score

This score rates the overall livability of a selected neighborhood, city, county, or state on a scale from 0 to 100. It is based on the average score of seven livability categories—housing, neighborhood, transportation, environment, health, engagement, and opportunity—which also range from 0 to 100. We score communities by comparing them to one another, so the average community gets a score of 50, while above-average communities score higher and below-average communities score lower.

All scoring begins at the neighborhood level. Cities, counties, and states receive a score based on the average scores of neighborhoods within their boundaries. Most communities have a range of more- or less-livable neighborhoods, but for a community to get a high score, neighborhoods throughout it need to score well. This makes it even more challenging for a city, county, or state to get a high score: the more neighborhoods there are within a given boundary, the less likely it will be that all of them have high scores.

Creating a livable community is challenging, and so is getting a high livability score. To get a perfect score of 100, a neighborhood would have to be among the best in the country in each of the seven livability categories. Scoring highly across all categories is difficult. For example, a transit-rich neighborhood has its benefits, but it can also drive up housing prices. To help that neighborhood score highly in both categories, community leaders would have to commit to ensuring affordable housing near public transit is available.

http://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/

Town Poverty Rates 2015 – Legislative Assistance Resource Center of Connecticut

This report published as a PDF file shows the number of people in each Connecticut Town who live in poverty, are unemployed, receive tax relief through the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit, and Use state and federal assistance programs needed to obtain health care, income support, food, and housing.

http://larcc.org/files/larcc_files/Town%20by%20town%202015.pdf

 

State study: Visitors to CT spent $8.3B in 2013

The economic impact of Connecticut tourism in 2013 continued to creep back toward its pre-recession high, according to astate-commissioned report released Wednesday.

Visitors to the state increased their spending to $8.3 billion in 2013, up from $8 billion in 2012 and $8.1 billion in 2011, according to the report, which was authored by Pennsylvania-based Tourism Economics and comes ahead of the May 12 Governor’s Conference on Tourism at the Connecticut Convention Center.

The spending by those 58.1 million visitors created additional indirect and induced economic impacts that together totaled $14 billion, the report said.

And it also generated direct state and local taxes of $504.6 million and 80,645 direct jobs with a payroll of $5 billion.

The 2012-2013 spending increase was driven by the food and beverage and retail sectors.

Meanwhile, the largest piece of the tourism pie — recreation and entertainment — declined by 1 percent, to $2.8 billion. That category includes casino spending.

Two-thirds of visitors to Connecticut in 2013 were day travelers, but overnight travelers accounted for 62 percent of total spending, or $5.1 billion, the report said.

State tourism officials will kick off the latest iteration of their “Connecticut still revolutionary” marketing campaign later this month.