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Budget surplus, credit rating upgrade bolster New Haven's finances

Office of New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said a $17 million surplus and the upgrade to its credit rating mean the city's finances are improving.  

He said New Haven’s finances are headed in the right direction due to revenue from Yale University and the state, and lower-than-expected salary payouts.

"We need to make sure that we're thoughtful and cautious about our future expenses," Elicker said at a news conference at City Hall on Wednesday. "And it's very important that we continue to build up our fund balance so that when we do face more challenging financial times in the future, we have that buffer to get through these times."

The fiscal year that ended this summer shows a $16.9 million surplus — a turnaround from early 2021 when the city faced a $60 million deficit, and the possibility of massive cuts and a tax hike.

Fitch, the credit rating agency, upgraded the city from BBB to BBB+ last month, meaning New Haven can get better interest rates when it needs to borrow capital.

Elicker said while the city can continue to provide services and keep taxes level, it’s still struggling.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.