Total property values in New London — calculated by comparing grand lists for 2018 and 2019 — grew by 2.85 percent, or about $41.3 million, outpacing other towns in the region which have so far filed numbers with the state. New London reported $1,492,043,348 of property in October 2019, compared to $1,450,658,923 in October 2018.
The 2019 Waterford grand list — at more than twice the value of New London — showed less growth this past year. Waterford’s inventory grew by 0.97 percent, or about $32 million, from $3,300,513,595 in 2018 to $3,332,549,281 in 2019.
The 2019 grand list provides an inventory and assessment of property within a municipality — real estate, motor vehicle, and personal (or business) property — as of October 1, 2019. That inventory will be used to calculate the local mill rate for the purpose of property taxes for fiscal year 2020-21.
In both Waterford and New London, the most significant growth was seen in personal property — business assets other than real estate or registered motor vehicles.
Personal property in New London grew by about $23.4 million, or 18.31 percent, from $127,817,397 in 2018 to $151,222,752 in 2019.
In Waterford, personal property grew by about $29.5 million, or 3.59 percent, from $819,607,619 in 2019 to $849,086,281 in 2019.
The total net assessment of all real estate did not change significantly in either.
In New London, the real estate assessment grew by 9.37 percent, from $1,217,308,946 in 2018 to $1,228,725,606 in 2019.
In Waterford, the real estate assessment shrunk by about 0.06 percent, from $2,325,849,456 in 2018 to $2,324,448,338 in 2019.
Typically towns filed their grand lists with the state Office of Policy and Management by the end of January. The grand lists can be adjusted, usually just slightly, if any property owners successfully appeal an assessment before the local Board of Assessment Appeals, which will typically hear cases in March.
Every five years, Connecticut towns are required to reassess all of the property within their borders. New London’s most recent revaluation was for its 2018 grand list. Waterford’s most recent revaluation was for its 2017 grand list.
Values of real estate by category
The grand lists also include a breakdown of real estate by several categories, which include residential, commercial, industrial, and apartments.
In New London, the overall net assessment of residential and commercial properties grew slightly, while the net assessment for apartments declined slightly.
In Waterford, the opposite it was the opposite. Apartments grew in value while residential and commercial assessments saw a slight decline.
Waterford has about twice as much residential and commercial assessed value as New London, while New London has more than ten times the assessed value for apartments as Waterford.
The residential net assessment in New London grew by about 0.45 percent, from $661,908,199 in 2018 to $664,941,669 in 2019, and in Waterford declined by about 0.63 percent, from $1,437,579,840 in 2018 to $1,446,651,040 in 2019.
The assessed value of commercial property in New London grew by 0.51 percent, from $425,285,183 in 2018 to $427,493,498 in 2019, and in Waterford declined by about 1.11 percent, from $819,188,484 in 2018 to $810,966,043 in 2019.
The net assessment of apartments in New London shrank by about 1.47 percent, from $117,920,971 in 2018 to $116,186,740 in 2019, and grew by about 18.8 percent, from $9,120,780 in 2018 to $10,837,980 in Waterford.
Top Ten assessments
When compiling the grand list, assessors typically also compile a list of the town’s top ten assessments by the combined value of all the real estate, motor vehicles, and personal property owned in town.
The top taxpayer is usually a business, and in many Connecticut towns the top taxpayer (or at least one of the top ten) is Eversource, given its extensive infrastructure of public utilities.