Carl Erlacher, CPA, Middletown's Director of Finance and Revenue Service has sent a letter to the mayor and Common Council which warns of coming fiscal difficulties.
In the letter, Erlacher that property taxes gathered by the end of the first quarter of the 2009 fiscal year (which began in June 2008) was a half percentage point lower than income from taxes last year ( 50.7784% vs. 51.2885). He warns that if the trend continues, the total collected could reach a full percentage point, meaning a significant drop in tax revenue.
The city is working on bridging the gap by contracting with 6 attorneys to concentrate on foreclosures, and hiring a collection agency to pursue tax scofflaws.
In addition, interest losses have increased, and revenue from building permits is down $600,000 in the period.
Add to this the deficits at the state level, and the resulting loss in grants and financial assistance to cities, and Middletown could be faced with making some difficult choices.