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CCM publishes second issues bulletin in 2022 election campaign series — Property Taxes

CCM publishes second issues bulletin in 2022 election campaign series — Property Taxes

Source: Kevin Maloney, CCM

For Immediate Release
Kevin Maloney (203) 710-3486

CCM publishes second issues bulletin in 2022 election campaign series — Property Taxes

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) today (Wednesday, September 28) released its second issues bulletin in CCM’s 2022 election campaign series — Property Taxes. 

This election season CCM is focused on bringing municipal issues to the forefront, with a particular focus on educating candidates and the public on specific issues impacting local government.

Over the coming weeks, CCM is releasing a series of "issue bulletins" highlighting some of those challenges. Our goal is to inform the public and candidates about these issues so we can effectively work with policymakers and our partners to address and provide sustainable solutions. 

The bulletin series is examining key Connecticut state-local issues. The bulletin being released today provides an overview on the property tax.  Future bulletins will focus on affordable housing and economic development, labor issues impacting towns and cities, local public education services and finances, and infrastructure and transportation. 

“CCM remains a ready and willing partner to assist in the development of public policy at the state and local level,” said Joe DeLong, CCM Executive Director and CEO. “Together we can collectively develop innovative and strategic plans and proposals to reduce the property tax burden. In that effort, we are committed to working with all of our partners — both in state government and other stakeholders — to make Connecticut an attractive place to live and work.”

Click on the following link --- https://youtu.be/LF-I52lgpr8 -- for the complete video message on the property tax burden from Mary Calorio, Town Manager of Killingly.

Click on this link to review the complete issues report -- Property Taxes -- 
https://www.ccm-ct.org/Portals/CCM/PDF/IssueBulletins/IssueBulletin_2022_Taxes.pdf?ver=9Kip_dU2fU1uQZ5IYvMd7w%3d%3d

Some key points include: 

  • Connecticut’s per-capita property tax collection -- $3.215, is almost twice the national average -- $1,750.
  • Funding to provide the services can come from a variety of sources such as taxes, fees, federal and state aid, but the majority of this funding comes from the property tax, more than 72%. This has created a system that requires municipalities to be overdependent on revenue from the property tax.
  • The problem with over-reliance on the property tax is that too often the taxable base within a community is limited and this requires towns and cities to increase the mill rate and tax liability to meet expenses. 
  • This problem is compounded by properties that have been exempted from taxation by the state legislature. There are currently more than 100 mandated property tax exemptions and in some communities such as Hartford, Mansfield, and New Haven more than 50% of the property within their communities is tax-exempt. 
  • These exempted properties still utilize public services but do not share in the cost to provide and maintain these essential services. By exempting these properties, it shifts the burden to fund these services to residential and business taxpayers. This increases the cost of housing for both homeowners and renters and the cost of doing business, which limits needed affordable housing and economic development opportunities. 
  • The property tax provides 72% of all local revenue, with the majority of the remainder coming from state aid to municipalities. 
  • While this state aid is essential, it has been provided at inconsistent amounts over the years and often falls short of the statutorily-required levels. With limited options for filling those revenue shortfalls, towns are forced to raise property taxes. 
  • The state also passes down numerous mandates onto towns, many of which are unfunded or underfunded. As stated previously, there are currently over 1,400 state mandates around the areas of education, the environment, and public safety, among others.

CCM hopes the series of bulletins will provide candidates for state office — and the public — with perspectives on the challenges facing Connecticut towns and cities, and provide viable solutions on matters of importance to local residents of our great state.