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Ideas to Avert Our Tax Disaster

Mike McGarry

November 11, 2010

Many ideas have surfaced to modify the effects of the coming re-valuation and the Coming 70% home evaluation along with the elimination of the business surcharge.

These ideas include:

• Further reductions in city expenses

• Possible delay for a year until the economy improves (re-val and surcharge changes)

• Sale of assets, possibly the parking asset, Batterson Park, 12B etc… using the money as a buffer over a set period.

But, the one most important effort that affects everything is the re-building of the Grand List. The coming revaluation in 2011 could see a massive reduction in the commercial/industrial sector and a modest loss in home values. The destruction of our business base by high taxation was predicted with the last re-val. A mill rate double our neighbors has meant ruin.

The only way to, in the long run, fulfill the city government’s commitments without ruinous taxation, is to increase the grand list. Investments in real property mean investments in business person property. We have seen a troubling continuing decline in that category. We need the jobs, the goods and services and, of course, the tax revenue from such investments.

The council may consider asking the state legislature to allow:

• A 50% tax break on new business personal property. The city gets so little now, a tax holiday may encourage growth.

• A true, independent Convention and Visitor’s bureau with direct funding through

• A part of the sales tax on hotels. A reinvigorated GHCVB could also have responsibility for events that draw visitors as one charge to action.

• Greenfield funding on major parcels (landfill, junkyards, industrial sites) to open land for development.

Then the city could:

• Rebuild merchant associations with the possibility of foundation money to staff

• Them, the system worked well in the past and is now needed again.

• The mayor, the council and department heads all putting economic development at the top of its priority list. The mayor, the chairman of the council’s economic

• Development committee, and appropriate staff should meet regularly targeting

• Specific businesses. The mayor should be Hartford’s salesperson.

• Permitting needs proper staffing. Money is lost with every week of delay, and

• Some business people just give up. Cutting staff in departments that bring in revenue is counter-production.

Everyone should understand that an increase in taxes (estimates are as high as 100%) on homeowners would defeat 15 years of public policy encouraging homeownership. Hundreds of homes could be abandoned and many lives ruined. The city and the state must find a solution and we would like to help find such, being fair to both businesses and homeowners.

Reprinted with permission of the The Hartford News.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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