City finalizes 2005 Grand List
(1/31/2006) - NEWS RELEASE -
NEW HAVEN FINALIZES 2005 GRAND LIST
New Haven: The 2005 Grand List provides a snap-shot of the city’s assets as calculated on October 1, 2005. This years’ Grand List shows some positive trends and at the same time, some financial challenges facing the City of New Haven.
New Haven is posting a small total Grand List increase of 0.46% - or $18,372,034. The increase is fueled by sizable increases in Motor Vehicle revenue ($24,979,825); successful audits of personal property ($16,526,447 discovered over three years); phasing in taxable properties and new construction ($34,095,160); and the aggressive work of the Livable City Initiative in developing and rehabbing residential housing stock – adding million o dollars to the Grand List.
Significant challenges to the growth of the Grand List include the settlement of several court cases, the required decline – under State statute - of personal property assessment by 10%, and the expansion of tax exempt properties - which results in the City of New Haven relying inadequate PILOTs (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) for reimbursement. Recently the City of New Haven settled a 2001 court case with PSEG Power Connecticut and a separate court case with FUSCO Arena Associates. Both cases were related to disputes over assessments and resulted in the City of New Haven adjusting its current Grand List by more than $33 million.
The City’s steadily increasing number of tax exempt properties continues to be a mixed blessing. New Haven serves as a regional hub for educational, health, and social services and while this adds to the vitality of the City – it also provides a significant fiscal challenge. More than $12.6 million worth of property that was taxable became tax exempt last fiscal year. Taken into context, this means 46.63 % of Real Property in New Haven is tax exempt. In the year 2000 there were 1,996 tax exempt parcels, compared to 2,315 today – an increase of more than 15%. At the same time, PILOTs for tax exempt properties fall substantially short of levels set by state statutes. PILOT is set at 77% of lost revenue but currently New Haven receives 53%. This difference costs New Haven taxpayers at least $12 million annually – and more than $50 million since 2000.
Next year the City of New Haven expects continued growth of the commercial sector as additional support businesses fill in around existing downtown residential properties. Revaluation would increase values of all Real Property and audits of Personal Property will continue to augment the Grand List. Challenges will most likely remain in terms of inadequate PILOTs and the continuing expansion of tax exempt properties.
“New Haven is doing its part to grow the Grand List and opportunities for wealth creation,” said Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. “Still - our taxpayers continue to shoulder an unfair burden - supporting and hosting a regional hub of educational, health, and social service providers without receiving fair compensation from the State or Federal Governments.”