The total value of taxable property in Old Lyme decreased by 2.36 percent, or about $37 million — from $1,585,659,738 to $1,548,200,464 — following the once-every-five-year town-wide revaluation.
The 2019 grand lists of four other towns in the area — East Lyme, Essex, Lyme, and Old Saybrook — each showed small year-over-year increases compared to 2018.
The 2019 grand list — an inventory of assets in town subject to local taxes — will be used during the town budget process to calculate the mill rate for local taxes in fiscal year 2020-21.
The value of a property in a town can change when actual improvements are made, such as an added building or bedroom. Or the value can change with the market as certain types of property sell for lower or higher amounts.
Under Connecticut state statute, the 2019 Grand List is based on the estimated value of all taxable properties in a town as of October 1, 2019. Town assessors are typically required to file their 2019 Grand Lists with the State Office of Policy and Management by the end of January.
Taxable property includes real estate, motor vehicles, and personal property, the last of which is typically business-owned property such as furniture, equipment, machinery, and unregistered vehicles.
A Grand List can change — usually very slightly — if a property owner successfully appeals an assessment to the town’s Board of Assessment Appeals, which in most cases will hear appeals in March.
Lyme’s grand list increased by 1.49 percent, or about $7.3 million, from $493,738,358 in 2018 to $501,103,491 in 2019. Lyme’s last revaluation was for its 2018 grand list.
East Lyme’s grand list increased by almost $28 million or 1.27 percent, from $2,184,186,012 in 2018 to $2,212,057,769 in 2019. East Lyme’s last revaluation was for its 2016 grand list.
Essex’s grand list increased by about 0.9 percent, or almost $10 million, from $1,062,738,700 in 2018 to $1,072,459,539 in 2019. Essex’s last revaluation was for its 2018 grand list.
Old Saybrook’s grand list increased by about 0.6 percent, or almost $15 million, from $2,286,997,270 in 2018 to $2,301,690,063 in 2019. Old Saybrook’s last revaluation was for its 2018 grand list.
Between the 2018 and 2019 grand lists, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook showed a devaluation of residential property, while residential property in Lyme, East Lyme and Essex increased in total value.
In Old Lyme, the gross assessment of all residential property decreased by about 3.5 percent, or about $48 million, from $1,373,438,186 in 2018 to $1,325,408,194 in 2019.
However, apartments in Old Lyme — which are classified differently in the grand list and constitute significantly smaller portion of the town’s overall housing stock — increased in gross assessed value. Apartments increased in value by about 11 percent, or about $532,500, from $4,808,060 in 2018 to $5,340,585 in 2019.
An increase in the value of commercial and industrial property in Old Lyme in part offset the impact of residential losses to the overall tax base.
Commercial property increased in value by over 11.6 percent, or about $7 million, from $61,852,244 in 2018 to $69,030,227 in 2019. Industrial property increased by 15 percent, or $1,838,900, from about $12,247,000 in 2018 to $14,085,900 in 2019.
The overall value of commercial property in Lyme decreased, while the other four towns showed an increase the value of their commercial property.
East Lyme showed the most significant increase in its commercial valuation of any of the five towns. The total value of East Lyme’s commercial property grew by over 8.5 percent, or over $12 million, from $144,510,639 in 2018 to $156,921,500 in 2019.
Top Ten Taxpayers
When compiling the grand list, town assessors also compile lists of the top ten assessments by property in their town.
In many Connecticut towns, Eversource Energy is the highest payer of local taxes due to their extensive utility infrastructure, often measured as personal property.
Companies related to Gateway Commons make up two of the ten top assessments in East Lyme.
Note: This story has been corrected to reflect that apartments in Old Lyme increased in value by about $532,500, not $532.5 million. Also corrected was the total change in value of industrial property in Old Lyme, which should have read $1,838,900 rather than $1,800.