Location:
MUNICIPAL FINANCE;
Scope:
Program Description;

OLR Research Report


November 30, 2010

 

2010-R-0484

OLR BACKGROUNDER: INDICATORS OF MUNICIPAL FISCAL STRESS

By: Rute Pinho, Associate Analyst

CAUSES OF FISCAL STRESS

Towns bear a significant responsibility for providing public services, most notably education, fire protection, police, and public road maintenance. Their ability to deliver these services depends on their fiscal capacity, that is, their ability to generate the revenue needed to pay for them. A town's fiscal capacity depends on its (1) property wealth, (2) demand for services, and (3) residents' income. The interplay between these three factors affects a town's ability to meet the needs of its residents.

Affecting that interplay are cyclical and structural factors. Cyclical factors are periodic trends that affect local budgets. For example, layoffs, business closings, and drops in property value make it harder for towns to fund services without increasing taxes. These same cyclical factors also affect state revenue flows, as businesses and people cut back on spending and make other adjustments to ride out the downturn. As revenues fall during a downturn, the demand for public assistance programs increases. Decreases in state revenues affect the state's ability to fund municipal grants-in-aid.

Structural factors, on the other hand, are things that affect a town's long-term ability to fund services without overburdening taxpayers. State law is a structural factor because it specifies the things towns must do and how they may raise revenue to pay for them. The law allows towns to levy only property taxes and specific fees, such as those for obtaining building permits. The property tax, as a revenue source, is not responsive to spending needs that change along with economic, demographic, and technological changes.

Towns' reliance on the property tax affects the state budget and how the state and towns get along. As the cost of municipal services has increased, towns have turned to the state for assistance. In time, state aid has constituted a growing share of town budgets, making towns vulnerable to the cyclical and structural forces that affect the state's fiscal capacity. Besides adjusting to fluctuations in state aid, towns also had to adjust to the strings – the controls – that accompany that aid. The ballooning state deficit and the pressure to cut spending could force towns to either increase property taxes to maintain services or reduce or eliminate them.

This report looks at municipal fiscal conditions by examining six indicators that measure different aspects of municipal fiscal capacity. As a whole, the indicators are a barometer of fiscal health and can be used to identify the most fiscally distressed towns. The indicators show each town's (1) equalized net grand list (ENGL) per capita, (2) education cost sharing town wealth rank, (3) ratio of debt to ENGL, (4) ratio of intergovernmental aid to total revenues, (5) bond rating, and (6) unemployment rate. Using these indicators, the report identifies the towns experiencing the most distress.

Attachment 1 shows how each town scored on each indicator. The italicized scores indicate the 25 towns that rank highest or lowest on the indicator, depending on the type of distress it measures.

INDICATORS OF MUNICIPAL FISCAL STRESS

Equalized Net Grand List Per Capita

 

When measured on a per capita basis, ENGL represents the amount of property wealth available in a town to support each resident. It is an estimate of the market value of a town's taxable property, equalized to reflect each town's taxable real and personal property at 100 percent fair market value.

In general, towns with greater per capita property wealth have a greater capacity to generate revenue and, in turn, a greater ability to fund the services residents demand. The opposite is true for those with less property wealth. (In both cases, the capacity to generate revenue without overburdening taxpayers depends on their incomes or their ability to afford municipal services.)

The median ENGL per capita across all Connecticut cities and towns is $152,875. Table 1 shows the 25 towns that rank lowest in ENGL per capita. The state's three largest cities – Bridgeport, Hartford, and New Haven – are in the bottom 10. Hartford's ENGL per capita is the lowest ($45,280), less than one third of the median amount. This stands in stark contrast to Greenwich, which has the highest ENGL per capita in the state at $845,224 (see attachment 1).

 

Table 1: Twenty Five Towns with the Lowest ENGL Per Capita, FY 08

 

Town

ENGL per capita

Town

ENGL per capita

Hartford

$ 45,280

West Haven

$ 97,009

New Haven

51,511

Ansonia

97,242

Mansfield

60,113

Norwich

97,817

New Britain

65,513

Griswold

99,843

Windham

66,911

Naugatuck

100,304

Vernon

67,610

Enfield

101,381

Waterbury

75,648

Torrington

101,892

East Hartford

83,419

Chaplin

103,127

Bridgeport

86,765

Hampton

103,272

Manchester

86,947

Putnam

105,380

Meriden

87,887

West Hartford

106,576

New London

93,120

Brooklyn

107,190

Plymouth

96,925

Source: Municipal Fiscal Indicators 2004-2008, Office of Policy and Management, November 2009

ECS Wealth Rank

 

By combining property wealth and income, the Education Cost Sharing formula (ECS) measures a town's capacity to fund services. The State Department of Education includes town wealth in the formula, which it uses to calculate the state's education equalization aid grants. ECS town wealth is based on a town's property tax base (ENGL three-year average) and the income of its residents.

Towns with substantial property wealth and high incomes have more capacity to generate revenue without overburdening their residents. Those with little wealth and low incomes have less capacity to do so. The capacity of towns that fall between these extremes depends on the relationship between property values and income. In theory, towns with great property wealth may struggle to sustain funding for services if their residents have relatively low incomes. Likewise, towns with less property wealth might have the capacity to maintain funding for services if their residents have relatively high incomes.

Table 2 shows the 25 towns that rank the lowest in ECS town wealth. With the exception of six towns, the towns that ranked in the bottom 25 for ENGL per capita also rank at the bottom of ECS town wealth. The six towns from Table 1 are not among the bottom 25 in Table 2 because they have relatively higher incomes. They are Chaplin, Enfield, Hampton, Manchester, Vernon, and West Hartford. They are replaced by Plainfield, Sterling, Killingly, Stafford, Sprague, and Thompson.

 

Table 2: Twenty Five Lowest ECS Town Wealth Ranks, 2009

 

Town

ECS Wealth Rank

Town

ECS Wealth Rank

Hartford

169

Brooklyn

156

Windham

168

Sterling

155

New Britain

167

Naugatuck

154

Waterbury

166

Torrington

153

New Haven

165

Putnam

152

Bridgeport

164

Killingly

151

Meriden

163

Griswold

150

Norwich

162

Plymouth

149

Plainfield

161

Stafford

148

Ansonia

160

Sprague

147

New London

159

Mansfield

146

East Hartford

158

Thompson

145

West Haven

157

Source: 2008-09 Education Cost Sharing Town Wealth and Rank, SDE Bureau of Grants Management, December 2008

 

Ratio of Debt to ENGL

 

Another way to measure a town's fiscal capacity is to determine the amount of debt it owes relative to its property wealth. This ratio indicates a town's capacity to repay its debt without affecting services. But it should be used cautiously when generalizing about fiscal capacity because a town's debt level could temporarily jump as it does when a town issues bonds for major capital improvements.

 

The ratio also indicates the share of local revenue that must go toward paying debt instead of services. As a town's debt to ENGL ratio increases, a town may have to cut services or forgo capital improvements to make its debt payments.

Table 3 lists the 25 towns with the highest ratio of debt to ENGL. New Haven has the highest ratio, with debt equal to 7.9% of its ENGL. Bridgeport and Hartford are the next highest with ratios of 5.8% and 5.2%, respectively.

 

Table 3: Twenty Five Towns with Highest Ratio of Debt to ENGL, FY 08

 

Town

Ratio

Town

Ratio

New Haven

7.9%

Tolland

2.2%

Bridgeport

5.8%

Granby

2.2%

Hartford

5.2%

Portland

2.1%

New Britain

4.0%

Plainville

2.1%

Scotland

4.0%

Plymouth

2.1%

Sterling

3.9%

Bethany

2.1%

West Haven

3.2%

Hebron

2.0%

Naugatuck

3.0%

Orange

2.0%

Stamford

2.9%

Easton

1.9%

Vernon

2.5%

Wolcott

1.9%

West Hartford

2.5%

Beacon Falls

1.9%

Marlborough

2.4%

Seymour

1.9%

Thomaston

2.3%

Source: Municipal Fiscal Indicators 2004-2008, Office of Policy and Management, November 2009

 

Ratio of Intergovernmental Aid to Total Revenues

 

The share of intergovernmental aid in a town's total budget indicates the extent to which it depends on revenue from the state and federal governments to fund services. State aid consists of (1) statutory formula grants and (2) discretionary grants. The formula grants include funds for education and school transportation, payments in lieu of taxes (i.e., PILOTs), and aid for town road projects (known as Town Aid Road or TAR). The state also awards discretionary grants-in-aid to municipalities for various purposes, including economic development and infrastructure projects. Federal aid to municipalities includes funds for community development and other discretionary purposes.

 

Table 4 lists the 25 towns with the highest ratios of intergovernmental aid to total revenues. These towns receive more aid in part because they have less property wealth, more lower-income residents, and a greater percentage of tax-exempt property within their boundaries. These factors make it more difficult for towns to raise their own tax revenue to fill budget gaps caused by cuts in aid.

 

Windham is at the top of the list, with nearly 60% of its FY 08 revenue coming from state and federal sources. Hartford and Putnam follow with a ratio of nearly 57%.

 

Table 4: Twenty Five Towns with Highest Ratio of Intergovernmental Revenues to Total Revenues, FY 08

 

Town

Ratio

Town

Ratio

Windham

59.8%

Voluntown

49.4%

Hartford

56.9%

Stafford

49.4%

Putnam

56.6%

Norwich

48.8%

New Haven

56.0%

Waterbury

48.2%

New Britain

55.6%

Plainfield

47.8%

Thompson

53.0%

Groton

47.5%

New London

52.8%

Wolcott

46.9%

Griswold

52.5%

Meriden

46.2%

Killingly

51.8%

Bridgeport

45.1%

Ansonia

51.7%

Lebanon

44.3%

Somers

51.6%

Bristol

44.0%

Canterbury

50.8%

Enfield

43.6%

Mansfield

50.0%

Source: Municipal Fiscal Indicators 2004-2008, Office of Policy and Management, November 2009

 

Bond Rating

 

A town's bond rating reflects the rating agency's view of the town's relative credit risk. It is based on a town's financial and economic position, debt levels, and management capacity. Consequently, it is a measure of a town's assets and liabilities and its ability to generate revenue. The rating reflects the risk for investors in lending money to the town and affects the interest a town must pay to borrow money.

 

Table 5 shows the rating system for Moody's Investors Service, which rates the majority of Connecticut towns' bond issues. (Other rating agencies have similar rating systems.) Moody's rating designations go below Baa, but these investments are not considered “investment grade.” No Connecticut towns have such ratings. Twelve Connecticut towns have a Aaa rating, the highest grade. These towns pay the lowest interest rates to borrow and have the easiest time selling their bonds because they are considered the safest.

Table 5: Moody's Rating Grades

 

Rating

Investment Grade

Explanation

Aaa

Best

Highest quality; minimal credit risk

Aa1 Aa2 Aa3

High

High quality; very low credit risk

A1 A2 A3

Upper Medium

Low credit risk

Baa1 Baa2 Baa3

Medium

Moderate credit risk; may possess certain speculative characteristics

Source: Rating Symbols and Definitions, Moody's Investor's Service, October 2010

 

Table 6 shows the October 2009 Moody's bond ratings for the 31 towns with Baa2, Baa1, and A3 ratings. Among the six towns in the Baa category, West Haven ranks the lowest with a rating of Baa2. The other towns (Bozrah, Bridgeport, Deep River, East Haven, and Waterbury) have a Baa1 rating. The remaining 25 towns have an A3 rating.

 

Table 6: Moody's Bond Ratings, October 2009

 

Moody's Bond Ratings – October 2009

West Haven

Baa2

New Britain

A3

Bozrah

Baa1

New Haven

A3

Bridgeport

Baa1

No. Stonington

A3

Deep River

Baa1

Norfolk

A3

East Haven

Baa1

North Canaan

A3

Waterbury

Baa1

Prospect

A3

Andover

A3

Putnam

A3

Ansonia

A3

Salem

A3

Brooklyn

A3

Scotland

A3

Canterbury

A3

Sprague

A3

Chaplin

A3

Stafford

A3

Colebrook

A3

Sterling

A3

Franklin

A3

Thompson

A3

Hartland

A3

Voluntown

A3*

Lisbon

A3

Wolcott

A3

Meriden

A3

*FY 08 bond rating

Source: Municipal Fiscal Indicators 2004-2008, Office of Policy and Management, November 2009

 

Unemployment Rate

 

A town's unemployment rate is an indirect measure of its residents' ability to pay for services. Table 7 shows the 26 towns with the highest unemployment rates for September 2010. (It includes 26 towns, rather than 25, since two towns tied at 9.6%.) Hartford tops the list with 15.8% unemployment, two percentage points ahead of the next highest town (Waterbury). The statewide unemployment rate for the same month was 8.8%. In all, there are 38 towns with September 2010 unemployment rates above the state's average rate.

 

Table 7: Twenty Six Highest Unemployment Rates by Town, September 2010

 

September 2010 Unemployment Rates

Hartford

15.8

Winchester

10.6

Waterbury

13.8

Meriden

10.4

Bridgeport

13.3

West Haven

10.3

New Haven

12.8

Torrington

10.2

New Britain

11.9

Thompson

10.2

East Hartford

11.1

Bloomfield

10.1

Ansonia

11.1

Hampton

10

Plainfield

11

Norwich

9.9

Derby

11

Putnam

9.9

Windham

10.9

Plymouth

9.9

New London

10.9

Sterling

9.8

Killingly

10.6

East Haven

9.6

Naugatuck

10.6

Stratford

9.6

Source: State Department of Labor, Labor Force Data for Connecticut Towns, September 2010

WHAT DO THE INDICATORS REVEAL?

The six indicators measure different aspects of fiscal capacity, namely property wealth, demand for services, and income. Together, the indicators serve as a barometer of municipal fiscal health that can be used to identify cities and towns experiencing the greatest amount of fiscal stress.

Table 8 shows the towns that appeared at the bottom of at least three of the six indicators. Bridgeport, New Britain, and New Haven ranked in the bottom for all six indicators. Six other cities and towns (Ansonia, Hartford, Meriden, Putnam, Waterbury, and West Haven) ranked in the bottom for five indicators.

Table 8: Scoring Towns on the Six Indicators of Municipal Fiscal Stress

 

Number of Times Town Ranked at the Bottom

Bridgeport

6

Stafford

4

New Britain

6

Sterling

4

New Haven

6

Thompson

4

Ansonia

5

Windham

4

Hartford

5

Brooklyn

3

Meriden

5

East Hartford

3

Putnam

5

Griswold

3

Waterbury

5

Killingly

3

West Haven

5

Mansfield

3

Naugatuck

4

Plainfield

3

New London

4

Torrington

3

Norwich

4

Wolcott

3

Plymouth

4

 

As the table shows, fiscal stress is not limited to the large cities. The diverse mix of municipalities suggests that the causes of stress vary from town to town and that there is no one-size-fits-all policy solution. Knowing the specific causes of a town's fiscal distress could help policymakers tailor policies and programs that address those specific causes. For example, highly developed inner-ring suburbs with little or no developable land may respond better to policies and programs aimed at reducing municipal costs than those aimed at attracting new businesses.

Attachment 1: Six Indicators of Municipal Fiscal Stress


Municipality






Unemployment Rate

(Sept 2010)


Bond Rating-Moody
's* (Oct 2009)











Ratio of Debt to Grand List (2008)

Ratio of Intergovernmental Revenues to

Total Revenues (2008)

ENGL per capita (2008)

ECS Wealth Rank (2009)

Andover

5.7%

A3

1.7%

33.9%

$120,850

110

Ansonia

11.1

A3

1.8%

51.7%

97,242

160

Ashford

7.2

A2

1.6%

43.1%

118,177

139

Avon

5.6

Aaa

0.4%

23.0%

224,538

28

Barkhamsted

9

A2

0.5%

26.3%

144,688

95

Beacon Falls

9.5

 

1.9%

26.6%

125,191

123

Berlin

7.1

Aa3

0.2%

28.7%

164,123

68

Bethany

6.6

A1

2.1%

14.7%

172,908

67

Bethel

7.2

Aa3

0.6%

28.0%

186,252

60

Bethlehem

7.1

 

0.4%

14.3%

165,382

51

Bloomfield

10.1

Aa3

1.0%

21.4%

153,164

72

Bolton

6.4

A1

0.6%

37.2%

130,064

97

Bozrah

7.7

Baa1

0.5%

29.5%

167,461

86

Branford

7.5

Aa2

0.8%

21.5%

202,903

36

Bridgeport

13.3

Baa1

5.8%

45.1%

86,765

164

Bridgewater

5.8

 

0.1%

2.9%

309,686

12

Bristol

9.2

Aa3

0.8%

44.0%

108,428

144

Brookfield

7.1

Aa2

1.1%

23.9%

218,871

31

Brooklyn

9

A3

0.9%

40.8%

107,190

156

Burlington

6.5

A2

1.5%

17.1%

148,910

83

Canaan

7.2

 

0.5%

23.0%

249,268

30

Canterbury

7.9

A3

0.2%

50.8%

116,381

140

Canton

7.2

A1

0.9%

26.8%

175,671

76

Chaplin

6.4

A3

0.4%

35.7%

103,127

143

Cheshire

6.9

Aa2

1.6%

22.8%

154,144

63

Chester

5.8

A2

0.9%

10.9%

201,747

47

Clinton

6.7

A1

0.5%

34.1%

187,733

62

Colchester

7.7

A1

1.4%

37.6%

112,354

137

Colebrook

4.5

A3

0.7%

22.6%

188,016

65

Columbia

7.3

A1

0.7%

36.6%

138,984

74

Cornwall

6.7

A1

0.5%

18.0%

428,364

11

Coventry

7.3

A2

1.8%

42.7%

120,267

125

Cromwell

7.4

A1

1.6%

27.7%

145,640

80

Danbury

7.4

Aa2

1.0%

21.6%

159,885

75

Darien

6.2

Aaa

0.8%

23.4%

632,846

3

Deep River

6

Baa1

1.0%

19.1%

163,816

58

Derby

11

A2

1.1%

41.5%

112,766

122

Durham

6.3

 

1.0%

17.3%

148,937

82

East Granby

5.9

A1

0.2%

16.0%

169,070

73

East Haddam

6.4

A1

1.4%

35.7%

165,094

81

East Hampton

8.1

A2

0.5%

40.4%

135,868

111

East Hartford

11.1

A1

1.5%

42.8%

83,419

158

East Haven

9.6

Baa1

1.7%

38.5%

111,147

132

East Lyme

7

Aa3

1.5%

19.8%

168,797

55

East Windsor

9.4

A1

0.8%

34.8%

136,878

108

Eastford

6.5

 

0.0%

30.7%

131,310

112

Easton

6.9

Aa1

1.9%

14.6%

322,800

14

Ellington

6.8

A2

1.0%

41.1%

127,612

124

Enfield

8.9

Aa3

0.8%

43.6%

101,381

138

Essex

6.3

Aa3

1.0%

12.7%

271,620

23

Fairfield

7.7

Aaa

1.3%

17.5%

297,714

19

Farmington

6.8

Aa1

1.3%

25.3%

227,842

37

Franklin

6.9

A3

0.7%

37.1%

174,221

84

Glastonbury

6.4

Aa1

1.5%

24.5%

183,508

53

Goshen

7.4

 

0.3%

4.6%

249,305

25

Granby

6.1

A1

2.2%

33.9%

140,044

88

Greenwich

6.6

Aaa

0.1%

21.0%

845,224

1

Griswold

9

 

0.3%

52.5%

99,843

150

Groton

8.9

Aa3

1.0%

47.5%

123,572

85

Guilford

6.3

Aa3

0.4%

24.9%

222,961

33

Haddam

6.6

 

1.0%

9.1%

174,138

61

Hamden

8.7

A2

1.4%

22.5%

118,772

105

Hampton

10

 

0.1%

32.3%

103,272

109

Hartford

15.8

A2

5.2%

56.9%

45,280

169

Hartland

5.6

A3

0.8%

37.1%

143,937

96

Harwinton

6.3

 

0.9%

19.7%

159,466

79

Hebron

6.3

A1

2.0%

25.4%

131,029

113

Kent

7.1

A1

0.8%

15.3%

338,147

17

Killingly

10.6

A1

1.0%

51.8%

111,550

151

Killingworth

6

A1

1.2%

13.6%

175,876

52

Lebanon

7.5

A1

0.7%

44.3%

132,068

130

Ledyard

7.1

A1

0.5%

42.5%

120,591

134

Lisbon

7

A3

0.8%

37.7%

129,048

131

Litchfield

7

Aa3

1.8%

23.8%

203,194

49

Lyme

6.8

 

0.6%

7.3%

411,570

10

Madison

5.7

Aa1

0.8%

23.0%

252,671

27

Manchester

8.6

Aa2

1.8%

37.0%

86,947

119

Mansfield

7.2

Aa3

0.9%

50.0%

60,113

146

Marlborough

7.2

A1

2.4%

27.1%

144,164

77

Meriden

10.4

A3

1.3%

46.2%

87,887

163

Middlebury

6.7

Aa3

1.0%

3.6%

203,167

45

Middlefield

7.1

 

1.8%

17.3%

152,875

89

Middletown

7.9

Aa3

1.5%

37.7%

119,617

100

Milford

8.8

Aa2

0.7%

24.5%

182,708

44

Monroe

7.1

Aa3

1.2%

29.7%

198,617

54

Montville

8.7

Aa3

1.7%

38.3%

107,752

128

Morris

7.6

 

0.3%

8.9%

286,044

46

Naugatuck

10.6

A1

3.0%

42.2%

100,304

154

New Britain

11.9

A3

4.0%

55.6%

65,513

167

New Canaan

6.2

Aaa

1.1%

5.9%

655,332

2

New Fairfield

7.7

Aa2

0.4%

17.3%

202,675

48

New Hartford

7.2

A2

0.9%

30.0%

158,524

78

New Haven

12.8

A3

7.9%

56.0%

51,511

165

New London

10.9

A1

1.1%

52.8%

93,120

159

New Milford

7

Aa2

0.8%

33.3%

180,807

66

Newington

7.9

Aa3

0.5%

32.3%

142,071

99

Newtown

6.5

Aa2

1.2%

21.4%

217,015

42

No. Stonington

7.1

A3

0.4%

32.4%

175,439

71

Norfolk

8.4

A3

0.3%

20.5%

255,948

35

North Branford

7.6

A1

1.5%

36.5%

137,726

101

North Canaan

8.3

A3

0.4%

37.0%

162,807

116

North Haven

8

Aa2

1.6%

10.0%

171,190

56

Norwalk

7.6

Aaa

0.9%

10.4%

251,232

39

Norwich

9.9

A1

0.6%

48.8%

97,817

162

Old Lyme

6.8

Aa2

0.5%

3.4%

355,258

20

Old Saybrook

6.8

Aa3

0.7%

17.0%

331,347

24

Orange

6.5

Aa2

2.0%

13.9%

163,830

32

Oxford

6.7

A1

0.7%

33.3%

167,271

70

Plainfield

11

A2

1.4%

47.8%

109,539

161

Plainville

8.3

A1

2.1%

39.0%

115,914

126

Plymouth

9.9

A2

2.1%

39.0%

96,925

149

Pomfret

7.5

 

0.1%

37.2%

136,628

129

Portland

7.5

A2

2.1%

30.9%

123,919

94

Preston

7.8

 

0.9%

38.1%

131,877

117

Prospect

7.8

A3

1.6%

21.1%

133,715

107

Putnam

9.9

A3

0.0%

56.6%

105,380

152

Redding

5.9

Aa1

1.0%

17.2%

315,577

15

Ridgefield

6.2

Aaa

1.6%

20.9%

335,374

16

Rocky Hill

6.9

Aa3

0.8%

24.6%

156,988

64

Roxbury

5.3

 

0.1%

4.3%

435,258

5

Salem

7.4

A3

0.3%

34.6%

147,891

98

Salisbury

6.5

A1

0.2%

14.6%

451,105

9

Scotland

5.9

A3

4.0%

34.7%

117,667

141

Seymour

9.1

A2

1.9%

38.2%

130,166

121

Sharon

5.1

A1

0.2%

13.7%

372,182

13

Shelton

7.9

Aa3

0.8%

25.5%

177,424

41

Sherman

7.1

A1

0.5%

20.5%

274,725

22

Simsbury

6.1

Aa1

1.5%

26.1%

167,741

59

Somers

8.5

A1

1.8%

51.6%

114,553

120

South Windsor

7

Aa3

0.8%

33.1%

156,880

87

Southbury

7.6

Aa3

1.0%

5.5%

186,637

50

Southington

7.6

A1

0.8%

36.3%

143,091

102

Sprague

9.5

A3

0.8%

41.8%

110,696

147

Stafford

8.2

A3

1.8%

49.4%

110,585

148

Stamford

7.2

Aaa

2.9%

8.8%

112,640

21

Sterling

9.8

A3

3.9%

37.9%

110,899

155

Stonington

6.4

Aa2

0.9%

9.5%

261,988

34

Stratford

9.6

A1

1.8%

30.3%

158,574

91

Suffield

7.6

Aa3

1.0%

41.1%

135,401

106

Thomaston

7.3

A2

2.3%

38.6%

115,039

133

Thompson

10.2

A3

1.2%

53.0%

117,553

145

Tolland

6.3

A1

2.2%

40.6%

135,185

114

Torrington

10.2

A1

1.0%

42.3%

101,892

153

Trumbull

7.1

Aa3

1.0%

9.9%

213,909

40

Union

9.1

 

1.6%

19.6%

202,616

57

Vernon

7.8

A1

2.5%

41.0%

67,610

136

Voluntown

8.8

A3

0.3%

49.4%

128,456

127

Wallingford

8.1

Aa1

0.8%

36.9%

157,270

92

Warren

6.1

 

0.2%

3.5%

355,716

18

Washington

5.9

Aa3

0.1%

2.2%

476,990

8

Waterbury

13.8

Baa1

1.2%

48.2%

75,648

166

Waterford

8.2

Aa3

0.3%

19.7%

260,099

43

Watertown

8.8

Aa3

1.6%

39.0%

146,439

103

West Hartford

7.9

Aaa

2.5%

26.8%

106,576

69

West Haven

10.3

Baa2

3.2%

37.0%

97,009

157

Westbrook

6.9

A1

1.6%

23.4%

283,774

29

Weston

5.6

Aaa

1.7%

6.4%

421,554

6

Westport

6.1

Aaa

1.0%

2.2%

606,306

4

Wethersfield

8.3

Aa3

0.9%

27.3%

141,157

93

Willington

5.9

A2

1.1%

39.2%

120,301

118

Wilton

6.2

Aaa

0.9%

8.5%

416,468

7

Winchester

10.6

A2

0.1%

40.2%

111,357

142

Windham

10.9

A2

1.7%

59.8%

66,911

168

Windsor

7.8

Aa2

1.0%

20.7%

157,840

90

Windsor Locks

8.6

Aa2

0.7%

42.8%

160,822

104

Wolcott

9.4

A3

1.9%

46.9%

117,510

135

Woodbridge

6

Aa1

1.7%

4.9%

209,130

26

Woodbury

7.5

Aa3

0.4%

4.7%

194,841

38

Woodstock

8.2

A2

0.5%

33.2%

142,664

115

Sources: Municipal Fiscal Indicators 2004-2008, Office of Policy and Management, November 2009; 2008-09 Education Cost Sharing Town Wealth and Rank, SDE Bureau of Grants Management, December 2008; State Department of Labor, Labor Force Data for Connecticut Towns, September 2010

* Blank cell indicates that Moody's had not issued a bond rating for the town as of October 2009

RP:df