For 2022-23, Stamford’s operating budget, which covers the day-to-day operations of the city of more than 130,000 people, the largest in the region, is $631,059,590. This budget is an increase of about 1.5% compared to last year's budget of about $624.7 million.
Most of Stamford’s budget is funded by local taxes. About $581.6 million in revenue comes from local taxes. The city will receive about $22.7 million in revenues from state and federal governments, such as through the education cost sharing formula from the state. Department revenues, such as building permits, make up $22.8 million in revenues, with about $4 million in other revenues, such as interest coming in.
Let’s take a look at how the budget breaks down by section in this town.
About 48.5% of Stamford’s budget, or $306.3 million goes toward the school district.
In general, the education budget covers many areas, including: salaries and benefits for teachers, administrators, and staff; curriculum materials; support services in schools; special programs, such as career pathway programs for high schoolers; and athletic and extracurricular materials.
This year, Stamford also voted to establish a school construction fund of $20 million that will go toward helping cover the cost of facilities projects. This is in addition to the $306 million for the day-to-day operations.
In Stamford, some education highlights include:
- Adding back kindergarten paraeducators to help combat the academic impact of COVID-19
- Additional funding for special education services, including additional teachers and behavior analysts
- Creating “Pathways for Career Connected Learning for All” to provide an alternative education opportunity for students
About 14.4% of Stamford’s budget, or $90.9 million goes toward the city’s public safety efforts, which include fire, police, and emergency communications.
Generally, the public safety budget covers many areas, including: salaries for police officers, firefighters, administrators, and support staff; equipment, such as body cameras; training programs; emergency communications; and emergency preparedness resources.
In Stamford, some public safety highlights include:
- Expanding the embedded social worker program, thanks to a $550,000 federal grant
- Working to enhance illegal housing inspection program
- Improving data collection for all public safety agencies
About 6.5% of Stamford’s budget, or $41 million supports the public works budget for the city. Public works covers many areas including parks and recreation, engineering, operations, road maintenance, and more.
The budget for public works generally includes funding for efforts in those departments, such as: road and sidewalk maintenance; engineering and design work; resources to maintain parks and recreation facilities, as well as infrastructure support; salaries for public works administration and staff; wastewater and stormwater management; and support for trash and recycling.
In Stamford, some public works highlights include:
- Additional funding to pave roads, fix sidewalks, and work on bridges
- Resources for “resilient and sustainable” infrastructure projects
- Implementing organic field maintenance program on athletic fields across the city
- Working to fully staff the traffic engineering division
Community and Human Services
Just under 3% of Stamford’s budget, or $18.6 million goes toward community and human services in the city. Everything from health departments to libraries, mental health services to youth and senior needs falls into community and human services. This category also includes funding that cities give to local nonprofits and agencies to provide some of these services.
In Stamford, some of the highlights for community and human services include:
- Continuing the work of the Youth Mental Health Alliance to address the mental health crisis
- Re-engaging in community outreach events and creating new ways to communicate with residents about the services the city offers
- Providing additional support for families after COVID-19 protections expire
Economic and Community Development
About 1.1% of Stamford’s budget, or $7 million is for economic and community development-related efforts, which include planning, zoning, and land use departments.
Generally, this budget includes the work of those departments, such as: application reviews; city-wide plans; zoning and building code enforcement; updates to the zoning regulations; business support; art and history commissions; tourism activities; and salaries for economic and community development staff.
In Stamford, some of the economic and community development highlights include:
- Continuing to work with the Mayor’s Business Advisory Council to keep the lines of communication open between businesses and the administration
- Working on updating zoning regulations, particularly in the area around the train station
About 3.5% of Stamford budget, or $22.3 million supports general government needs in the city, which includes the office of the mayor, finance, town clerk, IT, human resources, legal, customer service, and support staff for elected officials, such as the Board of Representatives.
The general government budget includes the work and people in those departments, such as salaries for employees in those areas; customer support initiatives and programs, such as “click and report” applications; communications to the public; records keeping; licenses, such as marriage and dog licenses; IT support; tax collection; budgets; and agendas and meeting materials.
In Stamford, some of the general government highlights include:
- Additional funding for IT and data security efforts
- Providing community service hubs and other engagement opportunities for residents
- Improving the FIX IT Stamford reporting system and making it more responsive to residents
Employee Benefits and Pensions
About 13.8% of Stamford’s budget, or $87.1 million goes toward employee benefits and pensions.
About 8.26% of Stamford’s budget, or $52 million, goes toward debt service.
About 0.9% or $5.5 million goes toward other costs in the city.
If you’d like more information, view the full city budget.
How we did this: We reviewed each community’s published budget and found the budgeted expenses by department and put them into the categories listed above. Please note: Not every municipality categorizes its budgets the same way. For example, some organize Parks and Recreation funds under Public Works, while others separate it. For consistency, we tried to move and place the similar departments into the same buckets.