Nobody wants higher real estate taxes, but the city needs more money, so perhaps the city can raise money through unusual means, Mayor Mark Boughton said Monday.
He will ask the City Council Tuesday night to give Finance Director David St. Hilarie the task of finding more money through unusual means.
"Are we really using all of the city's assets appropriately," Boughton asked.
He said one idea he heard was to create an economic opportunity zone around the Danbury Municipal Airport that would encourage development and eventually more taxes from that city land.
Other towns rent space for public events, and Danbury does that through its building use policies, Boughton said. New ideas are needed.
"I need them to look at the whole range of options," Boughton said. "This is not necessarily to raise fees or property taxes."
Boughton said he expects the Danbury Municipal Airport Task Force to make its recommendations in writing within two weeks. He said ideas might come out of that in addition to the enterprise zone mentioned above.
Boughton said this new revenue is needed because next year's budget is in trouble. He said one problem is the city's insurance carrier is talking about a 26 percent increase, which will cost the city almost $9 million extra next year.
"That's before oil costs and pensions are figured in," Boughton said. "It's going to be a rough year."