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Fardy: State Must Fly New Pilot

March 21st, 2014 · 25 Comments · City Budget, State Politics

OIB commentator Andy Fardy is tired of the growing presence of nonprofits in the city without the state fully funding payments in lieu of taxes. Someone must absorb those costs. He shares his perspective:

Nonprofits comprise about half of Bridgeport’s grand list. We all know the state pays us “PILOT” money, which means payment in lieu of taxes. But it’s only a small portion of what should be their real tax bills.

I was driving north on Main Street and noticed a large medical building at the corner of Salem and Main streets in Bridgeport is owned by St. Vincent’s Medical Center. This goes along with several houses and a large commercial building on Lindley Street.

I do not want to just single out St. V’s–Bridgeport Hospital is doing the same thing and has expanded its purchases several blocks away from the hospital and owns property formerly on the tax list.

It’s time for these nonprofits, storefront churches and the like to pay taxes to the cities they are located in. Let these nonprofits get their rebates (PILOT) from the state themselves.

The state Legislature does not give the cities proper payments under PILOT because it does not affect their towns.

The suburbs will ship us their ill, their addicted, their mentally challenged. When you’re in the suburbs, you’d be hard-pressed to find a drug-treatment facility, a halfway house and other agencies that help the have-nots and the addicted.

There is one thing everyone is forgetting, especially the people in Hartford. It’s the poor and lower middle class in the cities who are paying for these ever-expanding nonprofits. We living here in Bridgeport have done our civic duty by footing the lack of taxes provided by PILOT and the state.

It’s time to level the playing field. If these nonprofits are allowed to keep purchasing taxable property and taking it off the tax rolls while the state gives a small tax compensation to Bridgeport, who the heck is going to pay taxes because there will be no one left who is a taxpayer.

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25 Comments so far ↓

  • charlie

    I suppose my comment will fall on deaf ears as usual, but vote out the incumbents!!!

  • BOE SPY

    Andy does have one point. If a nonprofit must register with the state to get/keep the non-profit status, the state should hold the pilot $ to ensure this. I.e., nonprofits pay property tax like everyone else. When they register with the state to get/keep their nonprofit status the state awards the pilot $ along with the nonprofit certificate to the nonprofit. The state pays the nonprofit back for the already paid property tax. Just show your tax bill. If you do not register or fail to qualify for nonprofit status, you don’t get your pilot $. Too bad for you, but the city (taxpayers) don’t get screwed.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Just a note. The Italian Community Center was bought out by Sacred Heart University and will be turned into a science school. This building will now come off the tax roles. Combine that with the old Russo medical building and you are talking a lot of money we will lose.

    • Bob

      Andy, don’t forget the large number of vacant buildings on Main Street in downtown Joe Ganim had Bridgeport take over by eminent domain. My building alone, taken by Ganim, paid (at the time, 1995) about $10,000 per year in real estate tax. Multiply that by over 30 buildings and properties.

  • John Marshall Lee

    Andy,
    You are raising and developing an important issue with regional and/or statewide implications.
    We need to develop more info on how pervasive the problem is, what trends over the past 10 years have shown, as well as come up with alternatives that do not beggar the taxpaying citizens of Bridgeport.
    Healthcare and education have been the two sectors of the economy that have inflated at greater rates over recent decades than others. So it is not unexpected perhaps to see colleges and their need for bedrooms for resident students, and hospitals with their acute care emphasis and an aging boomer generation with a range of needs maturing to healthcare solutions, along with the variety of programs, perhaps formerly offered by the City or the State (school nurse, mental health, etc.) needing bases where the people are.
    What info is available at the Tax Assessor Office that bears on this? Or on the State Comptroller site? Time will tell.

  • Common Good

    You make a valid point but you should be aware not all nonprofit properties generate “PILOT.” Hospitals, Universities and State properties are eligible properties for “PILOT” reimbursements. We get nothing for churches, charities, public housing and nonprofit housing. See below for PILOT on State Properties. Also some nonprofits are paying a “PILOT” to the City–Mutual Housing did and 3030 did.

    State-Owned Property–Payment in Lieu of Taxes
    ========================================
    Program Description

    This program provides a payment in lieu of local property taxes (PILOT) for property owned and used by the State of Connecticut. The payment is equal to a percentage of the amount of taxes that would be paid if the property were not exempt from taxation. The payment percentages are 100% for facilities used as a correctional facility, 100% Mashantucket Pequot Tribal land taken into trust by federal government on or after June 8, 1999, 100% for any town in which more than 50% of all property in the town is state-owned real property, 65% for the Connecticut Valley Hospital facility, and 45% for all other property. Payment is made only for real property and does not include payment for tax loss on exempt personal property owned by these facilities or property used for highway purposes. Payment is made once a year on September 30th.

  • BARF

    Here’s something peculiar. This is the only building in the area where the assessment went down from 2011 to 2012. You can check the City tax records. And, the taxes owed for this property were $109,856.00, so that’s down a bit now that Sacred Heart is the owner. Sacred Heart paid $6,500,000 on 7/15/2013. A bit more than the assessment, huh!

    Year	Assessed Value
    2012	$2,625,000
    2011	$3,485,300
    2010	$3,485,300
    2009	$3,485,300
    2008	$2,793,815
    2007	$2,793,812
    2006	$3,073,193
    2005	$2,793,812
    2004	$2,793,812
    2003	$1,953,700
    2002	$1,953,700
  • BARF

    Tax record. I know this is a bit hard to read in this format.

    Current Owners Information Owner’s Address

    1: Sacred Heart University How Related: 4030 Park Ave
    2: Owner Occupied: Unknown Bridgeport CT 06604-1047 US

    Most Recent Tax Information
    Assess Land Value: $385,830
    Tax Year(July+): July 2013-June 2014
    Assess Bldg Value: $2,239,170
    Fiscal Year: 2013
    Base Mil Rate: 41.850
    Assess Total Value: $2,625,000 Tax District: Additional Dist. Mil Rate:
    Total Mil Rate: 41.85
    Most Recent Sale Information
    Tax Amount: $109,856

    Date: 07/15/2013 Amount: $6,500,000 Arm Length?: Nominal?:
    Type: Deed: Warranty Record(Vol/Pg): 8878/117

    Most Recent Mortgage Information

    Name: Date: Amount:

    Property Characteristics and Use Information

    Lot Size in Acres: 9.37 # Buildings: 1 Property Usage: Com Bldg
    Lot Size in Sq Ft: 408,157 # of Units: 3 Parking Type:
    Building Area: 56,400 # of Floors: 2 Bldg Style:
    Living Area: 53,048 # Rooms: Building Condition: Average-Good
    Basement Sq Ft: # Beds: Construction: Masonry
    Unfinished Bsmt Sq Ft: # Full Baths: Exterior: Brick
    Attic Sq Ft: # Half Baths: Roof Type: Flat
    Frst Floor Sq Ft: 39,674 # Fireplaces: Roof Material: Tar&Gravel
    Amenity 1: Outbuildings # Parking: Basement Type:
    Amenity 2: Air Conditioned Major Renovation: Heat Type: Forced Air
    Amenity 3: Year Built: 1969 Heat Fuel: Natl Gas
    Amenity 4: Common Own%: Zoning:
    Amenity 5: Condo Floor:

  • Common Good

    There should be information in the Tax Assessor’s office as to why the assessed value decreased. The owner would have had to go before the Board of Appeals–unless the assessor reduced the value herself.

  • John Marshall Lee

    BARF,Thank you for picking up on Andy Fardy’s theme and doing some look-up for us. The rest of us will consider the fact two more watchdogs are looking at the facts.

    On the face of your info (no time to check today) I think you are saying the property comprised 9 acres? And the land value was calculated at $550,000 from the land assessment and the building value at $3.2 Million from the property assessment. Assessments are 70% of value. Yet someone paid over $6 Million for something the City assumed was worth $3,750,000 presumably at the 10-1-2008 last revaluation? And the property is off the tax rolls now? But is it on the list of HOSPITAL property on which PILOT is paid? Lots of questions. Time will tell.

  • Pat Fardy

    OFF TOPIC AGAIN. About the complaint filed by me to the State Elections Enforcement Commission about the actions of Maria Pereira at the election Polls–Thomas Hooker School. I now have a File No. ***. and the Enforcement Unit is pursuing this complaint. Yeah!!!

  • Andrew C Fardy

    I did a quick check and found the following information. When you see the numbers please understand there are more numbers hidden under different corporate names. These are buildings owned by various entities and do no include main corporate bldgs, St. Vincent’s 13 structures surrounding the hospital, Bridgeport Hospital 19 buildings surrounding hospital, Sacred Heart University 13 buildings in Bridgeport they are a Fairfield University. I don’t have UB numbers yet so we have 49 ancillary buildings owned by these corporations. This does not count main business locations. I don’t know yet what we have been paid in taxes if anything.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    UB owns 98 pieces of property around the university, some are school buildings. I have not had time to break it down.

  • flubadub

    Just because a property is owned by a non-profit entity, does that automatically make it tax exempt? Shouldn’t it have to somehow be used to fulfill its mission/purpose?

  • Bob

    Sacred Heart has also been drooling over Fairchild-Wheeler for a long time. Watch out!!!

  • Andrew C Fardy

    flubadub, sure the building should be used to fulfill its mission but add these nonprofits up and who pays the tab? The taxpayer.
    Your residence has a mission also but it’s taxed to the max. There is something wrong there.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    If we don’t watch out they will get at least a portion of Fairchild Wheeler. There is nothing or anyone to stop them.
    My spies tell me members of this administration paid personal visits to the park Commission and lo and behold they all rolled over.
    Do any of them have the guts to come forward and tell us and possibly law enforcement what made them all change their minds? I doubt it but one can always hope.

  • BARF

    If I knew a better way to get this info on here, I would. A quick search for property owned by Sacred Heart show these results. The only search criterion was owner “Sacred Heart.” I’m a bit surprised about all the properties on Nancy!

    Prop ID Town Address Prop Type Assess Val Sqft Bd Yr Blt

    130M2501B02 Bridgeport 5252 Park Avenue Com Bldg $18,310,270

    130M2510B05A Bridgeport 4030 Park Avenue Com Bldg $2,625,000 53,048 1969

    130M2571B10 Bridgeport 4884 Park Avenue 1-Fam Res $159,560 1,533 3 1954

    130M2571B11B Bridgeport 4856 Park Avenue 1-Fam Res $213,710 3,561 4 1950

    130M2571B13 Bridgeport 392 Eckart Street 1-Fam Res $180,310 1,344 3 1963

    130M2571B15 Bridgeport 4940 Park Avenue Com Bldg $15,127,750 109,800 1999

    130M2571B17 Bridgeport 185 Nancy Drive Res Open Lnd $63,450

    130M2571B18 Bridgeport 161 Nancy Drive 1-Fam Res $145,960 1,928 3 1956

    130M2571B20 Bridgeport 123 Nancy Drive 1-Fam Res $162,430 2,086 4 1959

    130M2571B21A Bridgeport 5060 Park Avenue 1-Fam Res $171,570 1,612 2 1955

    130M2571B23A Bridgeport 5020 Park Avenue 1-Fam Res $791,520 4,892 4 2011

    130M2571B25A Bridgeport 4980 Park Avenue Comm Land $73,350

    130M2571B58 Bridgeport 225 Nancy Drive Res Open Lnd $61,820

    130M2571B59 Bridgeport 205 Nancy Drive Res Open Lnd $62,790

  • Andrew C Fardy

    BARF, I count 12 pieces of property on Nancy Dr., 13 pieces on Park Ave including new purchase of ICC and 3 pieces on Eckart St. for a total of 28 pieces of Bridgeport real estate.

  • eyedoctor

    I don’t understand how a nonprofit piece of property that is making a profit is exempt from paying taxes. Offsite houses used for residency is not a place of education.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    The hospitals, colleges and nonprofits have great lobbyists and they spend millions in Hartford lobbying for different things.
    Then you have the suburban legislators who will vote on anything that will keep drug rehabs, halfway houses, seniors and you name it from their towns.
    Did you ever notice what’s supposed to pass for affordable housing in the ‘burbs starts selling at approx $350K? Affordable??? See today’s Post on lobbying.

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