The Board of Finance got its first look at the proposed town and education budgets last night.
The total request for the 2023-24 fiscal year, from 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, Board of Education chair Lee Goldstein and superintendent of schools Thomas Scarice. is $233,487,842. That’s up 4.39% from the current year.
Education comprises 63% of the total town budget. The bulk of that $136 million — 64% — goes for salaries. Benefits comprise another 15%.
Other costs include purchased services (11.3%), property services (5.9%), supplies (2.1%), equipment (0.6%) and other (0.5%).
Click here for the proposed Board of Education budget.
In the $81,932,340 town budget, the largest costs are public safety (30%) and pension, other post-employment benefits and insurance (25%).
The rest of the funds go to Public Works (16%), Parks & Recreation (10%), general government (9%), debt service (6%) and other uses, like the Westport Library, Westport Transit District, Earthplace and Aspetuck Health District (2%).
Westport’s total debt is now $100 million. It is projected to rise to $350 million by 2031, then begin to decline.
Tooker’s budget packet includes a mill rate comparison with area towns. Westport’s mill rate of 18.07 is higher than Greenwich (11.28) and Darien (17.23), but below New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Fairfield, Wilton and Ridgefield. Weston had the highest area mill rate: 32.97.
Click here to see the total recommended town budget.
Next steps include public hearings, Board of Finance votes, and final approval by the Representative Town Meeting. (Hat tip: Nancy Kail)
(How’s this for a personal budget idea: Please set aside something to support “06880.” Click here — and thank you!)