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Shark Attack On Property Tax System

March 15th, 2014 · 9 Comments · Analysis and Comment, News and Events

You don’t hear often from Connecticut Democrats about the need to cap municipal property taxes, but that’s a debate Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey wants to chew on for the longer legislative session in 2015. Many northeast states including New York have adopted municipal property tax caps in pursuit of providing tax relief for home and business owners. States generally place the cap at two percent with some restrictions. The CT Mirror has more on this.

Connecticut should brace for a landmark debate next year on how it pays for local services, including capping property taxes and shifting municipal expenses onto the state’s back, House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey said Friday.

The Hamden Democrat, who last month outlined a plan to subject colleges and hospitals to local property taxes, said Friday he wants communities to have significant leverage to negotiate the taxes these institutions might pay.

“This requires an overhaul on a grand scale,” Sharkey told a forum on municipal affairs hosted by Goodwin College in East Hartford, adding that Connecticut’s long-ignored property tax crisis must be addressed next year.

Full story here.

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9 Comments so far ↓

  • BOE SPY

    Before we all yell ‘thank the Lord and hallelujah,’ are the tax and spenders going to stop spending when the money runs out or is this municipal property tax cap going to be more or less effective that the property tax re-evaluation, the debt limit or any of the other spending limits they make then ignore when it is convenient?
    On its face it already has problems. They would have to work in some way to account for inflation. It will also encourage municipalities to get to that limit.

  • Tom White

    This is a topic that needs to be discussed, but how can we expect the tax and spend Democratic party to come up with anything other than a way to raise more tax revenue that they can then spend to promote their agenda?

    If Bridgeport opted to require property tax payments from the hospitals, you would see them accelerate their departure to suburban towns which would likely opt not to tax them.

    If the State legislature fully funded the PILOT program, the question of fairness of the current taxing methods would not be so acute.

    Perhaps the Democrats wish to punish universities and real churches for not supporting their agenda.

    • Booty

      Tom,
      Why do you think a suburban town would be willing to give away services for free? Putting a hospital in a suburban town would most probably require beefing up their infrastructure, which isn’t cheap. Think of a multi-story structure in a town that probably currently limits structures to at most 2-1/2 stories, because that’s the highest their current volunteer fire department’s equipment can reach. And that’s just fire. Can you see these kinds of changes getting approved and paid for in Monroe, for example? I can’t.

      • Tom White

        Well, Booty (whoever you are),
        Yes, I can. The percentage of lost tax revenue would be small for Trumbull and other medical practices in taxable properties would follow. My doctor already left Bridgeport for Trumbull. Height is not an issue. The requirement is square footage. Look at Scinto’s new building on Quarry Road. In Monroe you have the Kimball building on Pepper Street.

        Hospitals are experiencing losses now, and eliminating positions as a result of action by the Democratic party-dominated state legislature to generate revenue.

        Tax and spend, rather than efficiency and effectiveness is the Democratic party way.

  • Jennifer Buchanan

    California has since 1978 had a 1% real estate tax cap based on the purchase price of property, however voter-approved additional taxes can be added to the property tax bill, which is an important part of the tax cap–voter approved. Details here:
    www .lao.ca.gov/reports/2012/tax/property-tax-primer-112912.aspx

  • Joel Gonzalez

    When it came to Bridgeport’s revaluation, Sharkey was more like a goldfish in a tank full of hungry piranhas. Walk the walk! Oh yeah, sharks can’t walk.

  • John Marshall Lee

    House Leader Sharkey,
    Since you indicate a longer session is more conducive to the extended debate necessary (though it has not happened in decades), perhaps you can stop the legislature from voting for anything that costs monies in fees or taxes for businesses or the taxpayer anywhere. No new funds called for until AFTER THE DEBATE and DECISIONS!

    For instance, the Labor Committee does not believe low-income families (and who does not feel their income too low today) do not save for retirement since those who are employed with smaller firms do not have payroll deduction plans so they can save before they spend. So the State is to research, review and come up with an alternative to retirement products like IRAs that the public has available from banks, security firms and insurance companies. I am sure you have seen an advertisement or two. Perhaps the reason the lower income or no earned income folks are not embarking on saving is the cost of living (that includes lots of tax payments) is too high. And Labor along with State employees enjoy defined benefit plans that take the investment risk and the mortality risk away from the retiree, but they are suggesting a plan that leaves those risks with the worker who would sign up for a State plan. Why? Is it OK for these private system employees to eat at a lower table? Perhaps cities and the state need to do what most private businesses have done in the past three decades and reform retirement plans to become defined contribution plans. It would make all government budgets more predictable, and directly impress workers more attention to retirement is necessary by the worker.

    Will Sharkey defer any NEW spending this year and any new commitments to explore NEW areas of future spending where there are viable alternatives presently? Time will tell.

  • Mustang Sally

    Pull up your pants, Brendan! Your panders are showing.

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