Recent filings of grand lists by Chester, Deep River, East Haddam, and Westbrook show modest growth across the region between October 2018 and October 2019.
Of the four towns, East Haddam had the largest increase in its overall grand list, at 1.78 percent. The town’s total net assessment grew from $879,144,920 in 2018 to $894,795,125 in 2019.
Westbrook grew 1.12 percent, from $1,149,623,949 in 2018 to $1,162,509,264 in 2019.
Chester’s taxable property grew 0.87 percent, from $441,137,583 to $444,985,360 in 2019.
Of the four towns, Deep River had the smallest increase, of 0.34 percent, its total net assessment grew from $508,875,240 to $510,593,265 in 2019.
Deep River was also the only town of the four to experience a net decline in real estate value within the town, about 0.01 percent, dropping from $440,007,645 in 2018 to $439,928,015 in 2019. The total assessed value of motor vehicle also decreased modestly in Deep River, but these decreases were offset by the value of personal property in the town, which grew by 9.36 percent, or about $3,239,663, from $30,836,415 in 2018 to $33,724,650 in 2019.
Westbrook had the most significant growth in real estate value— 0.65 percent — from $1,046,576,149 in 2018 to $1,053,425,016 in 2019.
The 2019 grand list — an inventory of assets in a 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.
Westbrook’s most recent revaluation was for the 2016 grand list. The last revaluation of East Haddam was for the 2017 grand list. Chester’s most recent revaluation was for 2018. Deep River’s most recent revaluation was for its 2015 grand list.
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.
A breakdown of real estate
The total net assessment of all residential real estate in each of the four towns remained mostly steady with small increases. Westbrook had the largest increase in residential — 1.31 percent — from $861,425,654 in 2018 to $872,788,081 in 2019.
The four towns each showed a decrease in the value of their commercial real estate. For most of the towns this decrease was very small: a 0.2 percent decrease in East Haddam’s commercial property, for example.
But Westbrook showed a drop of 7.3 percent in commercial real estate value, from $108,107,540 on the 2018 grand list to $100,677,830 in 2019. In the same period, Westbrook’s industrial property value grew from $35,979,890 in 2018 to $39,256,860 in 2019.
East Haddam had a noteworthy 23 percent jump in its total net assessment of apartments in town, from $4,804,590 in 2018 to $5,946,010 in 2019. This is still a small amount compared to the total amount of other residential property in East Haddam, which was $719,336,210 as of October 2019.
Top ten taxpayers in each town
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 or one of the highest payers of local taxes due to their extensive utility infrastructure, often measured as personal property.
See our recent coverage of grand lists in Essex, Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, Lyme and East Lyme here.