Most Of Gain Due To Phase-In Of Property Revaluation
February 03, 2011
The city's grand list of taxable property grew to $3.74 billion in 2010, a nearly 4 percent increase over the previous year, though most of it was attributable to a phase-in of property revaluation.
City Assessor Lawrence LaBarbera said the $139.6 million rise was mostly due to the phase-in of a citywide property revaluation that began in 2006 and ended in 2010. The result was the value of real property in the city grew $110.3 million.
Without the revaluation, LaBarbera said, the taxable value of real property would have probably grown by only about 0.5 percent, consistent with what other municipalities have been reporting.
The other two areas of taxable property — motor vehicles and personal property — increased by 0.8 percent and 4.26 percent, respectively.
Although there were 446 fewer cars on Hartford's tax rolls in 2010 than a year earlier, LaBarbera said, the increase was due to a rise in the value of the cars. The city had 45,393 cars on its tax rolls in 2009, but only 44,947 in 2010.
"What that really says is that the value of cars has gone up," he said. "The price of new cars has gone up, therefore, used cars have gone up as well."
Personal property rose from $636.9 million in 2009 to $664 million in 2010. LaBarbera said the increase was the result of a survey and audits that the city conducted over the past two years. During that time, he said, the city found several businesses that weren't paying taxes on personal property.
Overall, real property accounted for $2.8 billion of the grand list, personal property coming in at $664 million and motor vehicles at $263.9 million.
"I'm not disappointed, especially in light of everything that is going on," Mayor Pedro Segarra said Thursday. "But can we do better? Yes."
Segarra said he hopes state legislators will address the issue of tax reform this year.
"We have the potential for taxes to increase by a high amount," Segarra said, referring to the revaluation, which upon completion shifts more of the tax burden to the city's homeowners. "We need to work out a taxing plan for the city that is fair to all the different sectors."
The top 10 taxpayers, based on all categories of property, were: Travelers Indemnity Co. Affiliate, $136 million; Hartford Fire Insurance & Twin City Insurance, $130.2 million; Aetna Life Insurance Co., $124.5 million; Connecticut Light & Power, $123.1 million; Northland Properties, $90.9 million; Mac-State Square LLC, $66.7 million; City Place I Ltd. Partnership, $58.1 million; Talcott II Gold LLC, $53.7 million; FGA 280 Trumbull LLC, $46.8 million; and Connecticut River Plaza LLC, $41.4 million.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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