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Revaluation Bill Clears State House Of Representatives

By Jenna Carlesso

June 03, 2011

Earlier this legislative session, we wrote about a bill that would limit assessment increases for city residents during the next revaluation cycle.

Today, that bill -- heavily amended -- cleared the state House of Representatives. In a nutshell, the measure limits assessment increases for many city residents to 3 1/2 percent in the first year (the tax bill residents would receive in July 2012). Beyond that, assessment increases would be tied to how much the city collects in taxes, said state Rep. Matthew Ritter, D-Hartford, who co-sponsored the measure.

If the city raises taxes beyond the rate of inflation in a given fiscal year, property assessments would increase by more than 3 1/2 percent, Ritter said. For example, he said, if the city raises the tax rate by four or five mills (it's currently 72.79 mills; a mill equals $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property) assessments would increase by about 7 percent.

If the city reduces its tax levy by half a percent over the previous fiscal year, he said, the assessment rate would not go up at all. If the tax levy goes up to meet the rate of inflation, assessments would increase by 3 1/2 percent.

The bill was co-sponsored by all members of the Hartford delegation except state Rep. Kelvin Roldan.

"This legislation mandates that homeowners in this city will pay an ever larger share of the city's tax bill so that large corporations, many of which generated record profits this year, can pay even less in taxes," Roldan said in a statement. "Giving corporate tax breaks subsidized by hartford homeowners is not good [for] our residents. I look forward to working toward a more equitable solution."

Roldan was referring to the phasing out of a surcharge on city commercial properties.

Ritter said if the bill limiting the tax increases doesn't pass, many homeowners would face tax increases of 100 percent or more under the revaluation.

The bill will now go before the state Senate for a vote.

Reprinted with permission of the CityLine blog of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the CityLine at http://blogs.courant.com/cityline/ and the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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