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Effects of zero increase would be felt town-wide

April 23, 2014

COVENTRY— During previous budget meetings Town Manager Thomas Hoover expressed the need for a tax increase in town, but members of the council wondered what would happen if no increase was approved.

The question was asked by council member Greg Laboissonniere and President Gary Cote at the April 7 meeting after Hoover recommended a 1.96 percent increase for the fiscal year 2014-2015 budget.

According to a report drawn up by Hoover, the tax increase is needed to pay state mandated pension contributions to assist their unfunded liability.

The town did come to an agreement with non-uniform unionized employees and the collective bargaining agreement served to reduce the size of pension obligations and wage increases.

Hoover said the town also finished arbitration with the International Brotherhood of Police (IBPO) to help fix the unfunded pension liability.

If there is no increase however, $1.2 million would have to be reduced from the budget, which would affect various departments throughout town, including solid waste collection, street repair, snow removal, police investigations, social and recreational programs, permit and licensing activities and development activities.

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