Stratford Removed From Distressed Cities List!!!!
Stratford’s economic and fiscal strength have improved in recent years and the town is no longer listed as distressed, according to the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.
The state annually tracks towns and cities in areas including population growth, per capita income, change in tax base, and age of housing stock, and then uses the information to rank the municipalities’ need for state funding on a list of 25 Distressed Municipalities. Stratford’s town government, residents and businesses together have shown such improvements compared to other towns and cities that, after two years on the list, Stratford is no longer on it in 2022.
Stratford improved its ranking in a variety of factors measured by the state. In particular, Per Capita Income increased by 2.6% between 2019 and 2020, the population has grown by almost 1,000 people over the past decade, and the percentage of residents living below the Poverty level dropped to 7.3%.
The strength of Stratford’s economy is indicated also by the Grand List, which is the value of all taxable property – residential and commercial. Here, the state sees that Stratford’s Grand List in 2021 surpassed $5 billion for the first time, which reflects growth of 3.3% compared to 2020 and 5% compared to 2019.
In some areas of the state’s measurement, Stratford’s numbers were little changed, according to the state. Even in these areas, Stratford’s ranking may have improved relative to other towns where numbers declined.
Mayor Laura R. Hoydick and the town’s legislative representatives in Hartford welcomed the news of Stratford’s elevated standing among the state’s towns and cities.
“Stratford’s improved fiscal and economic rating in the state is a clear sign that the collective work of my administration, local businesses and our townspeople is paying dividends,” Mayor Hoydick said. “Our community’s economic growth, combined with our prudent management of the Town, has allowed us to reduce the tax rate for four years in a row. We anticipate further improvements in the coming year as well.”
Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly said, “This is a testament to the people of Stratford, our job creators, our workforce, and our local and state leaders who support our town. Growing up in Stratford and raising my family here, I know firsthand how wonderful our community is. We celebrate our diversity, we support our neighbors, we care for our environment, and we work hard to give our kids an even better future, with jobs, opportunity, and prosperity. At the same time, I know it’s not easy for you and your family right now as we face historic inflation and unaffordability. In Connecticut, income growth is not keeping up with the cost of living, prices keep climbing, and assistance for necessities like home heating oil for seniors has been cut. The change in designation for our town recognizes important progress locally, but much more must be done across our state so that no family finds themselves in distress.”
State Representative Joe Gresko: “In recent years, Stratford has become home to many new residents and businesses, because they know that our town is worth investing in. Recently, we topped a WalletHub list of top cities in the U.S., and advancing beyond the distressed municipality list not only recognizes the actual potential of our city, but it also shows that we are on solid footing for the future ahead.”
Rep. Ben McGorty added, “It is such great news to see that Stratford has moved off the list of distressed municipalities in Connecticut. These improvements in our town are a testament to years of dedicated community leaders and residents contributing to make Stratford a great home for residents, a space for businesses to thrive, and for visitors to enjoy all that we have to offer. Thank you to our state and local leaders for their hard work serving Stratford.”
Rep. Phil Young agreed. “The State of Connecticut and the Town of Stratford have made a concerted effort to transform our community. We have made changes that benefit our town now, and others that have set us up for success in the future. I am thrilled with the progress that has been made and hope we continue to keep innovating.”
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