City and town leaders to push state government for property tax reform

Politics

(WTNH) — Connecticut has the third-highest property taxes in the nation. Cities and towns want to make that the big issue in next year’s elections.

All 169 cities and towns in the state belong to the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, and Tuesday started their annual, two-day convention where finding solutions to the high property taxes is a major focus.

If you own a home in any Connecticut city or town, chances are the property tax you pay on it is one of the biggest expenses you have.

For those that own their homes outright, there’s the twice annual pilgrimage to your city or town hall to make the twice-a-year payment.

If you have a mortgage, the bank makes you pay a portion every month. The bulk of that money goes to fund local schools, the largest expense in all town budgets.

Mayor Mike Freda (R-North Haven) is the incoming President of the C.C.M. and says, “What we see very clearly is our citizens don’t like the uncertainty of what can happen with mill rates and property tax increases.”

Mayor Neil O’Leary (D-Waterbury) is the outgoing C.C.M. President this year and adds, “There has to be alternative forms of revenue that need to come in besides leveraging our taxpayers in the state.”

During last year’s campaign, Governor Ned Lamont said property tax relief was one of his highest priorities, but so far it has been edged out by the push for a statewide transportation plan.

“The most important thing I can do is to help these towns and cities grow. If they grow their ‘grand list’ the property tax rate goes down,” said Governor Lamont.

No one disputes that, but the C.C.M. is planning to propose more specific measures within the months ahead. The C.C.M. is hoping to make local
property tax relief the major issue in next year’s legislative elections.

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