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What’s In Your Tax Bill?

June 30th, 2014 · 5 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Budget, City Politics

Have you received your tax bill yet? The new budget year that starts on Tuesday calls for a tax increase of $53 for the average homeowner and $135 for a business. Since the start of Mayor Bill Finch’s second term, the average residential taxpayer is paying an additional $400 more.

This budget represents a third straight tax increase, albeit modest, for Finch as he seeks a third four-year term next year. Dare say the mayor’s peeps will find a way not to raise taxes in an election year.

Each year the mayor has proposed a tax increase higher than what was approved by the City Council. And so it goes in the budget-making process. City beancounters generally leave something for the council to cut so members can save face, or the council includes a combination of more revenue items anticipated from the state or savings from city employee givebacks.

The higher assessed areas of the city such as Black Rock, North End and Brooklawn will generally pay more than $53. The budget year coming to a close represents roughly a $125 tax increase on the average homeowner.

The tax increase from the prior year hit the average Bridgeport taxpayer about $230 more. So, total up the past three years and the average taxpayer is paying just over $400 more since the start of Finch’s second term, according to a tabulation from news releases the mayor has issued each year.

As taxes go, is that good, bad or ugly for you?

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5 Comments so far ↓

  • Joel Gonzalez

    Lennie, you should consider rephrasing your question to: What’s in your tax or rent bill? My landlord raised the rent $25.00 a month. The reason given is higher taxes. Assuming other tenants’ rent was raised too, we will all be paying $900.00 more per year. For single-family homeowners, the tax increase will be taking a bite on their wallet. Owners of rental properties on the other hand tend to take advantage as in my case where the landlord will pay less than $53 in taxes and get $300 from me. I’ll trade my rent bill for my landlord’s tax bill in a heartbeat. The only thing included in the rent is the WPCA bill. By the way, as WPCA bills go, is that good, bad or ugly for you folks?

  • CaptainDavidHawley

    It should be what is NOT in my tax bill. I am missing the thank you note from the mayor for helping to keep his irresponsible spending uninterrupted. Those of us who lost significant value in our homes are denied the tax relief we are due. So while on paper the increase is “modest,” the actual increase is significant.

    Since the taxes in Bridgeport will never go down, this is just passing the buck down the line for another two years past the election. We do not know how bad off we are because they will not share the reval data we already paid for (another waste of our money) because, according to Sue Brannelly, apparently we are not smart enough to understand this data.

    Hopefully the 42%+ of the homeowners in this city who are underwater and are bearing the brunt of this for the next two years realize what is actually being done and they stop falling for the Finch/City Council smoke and mirror show (water taxis, solar panels, expensive park projects) and look at the other side of the coin (high-paying administration jobs added, driveways, zero fiscal accountability/transparency) at election time.

    Take the time to browse the CT Post archive for the recaps of the Mayor’s “State of the City” speeches since he took office, they are laughable at this point. To think he and his well-paid advisers did not see any of this coming either shows how out of touch with reality he is or displays his arrogance that he know what is best for everyone, taxpayers be damned. Sadly it is probably the very deadly combination of the two.

  • charlie

    Damn you, Finch. Support the tribal recognition and your taxes would drop by 20%

  • flubadub

    I think I understand it now. When my tax increases finally reach $600, that’s when I get my rebate check in the mail. Yeah, that’s it, the check is in the mail!

  • John Marshall Lee

    Tax bill … you want to talk about tax bills … how would you feel if you were #1 in the City of Bridgeport? Top of the heap so to speak as that is the category that has been occupied by the Wheelabrator property, formerly the “trash to energy” project of the CT Resource Recovery Authority. After 25 years of being a project conveniently located on valuable waterfront land that made a token “payment in lieu of taxes” to the City, it fell on our Tax Assessor at the time to value the land and equipment. Professional appraisers were usually employed but somehow this item got reserved for “special treatment.”
    Wheelabrator has been in State Court for years arguing with the City on the assessed value and other technical issues raised.
    Currently an appeal to the CT Supreme Court has been filed. And the City should be responding within a month or two. (Think of the legal expenses!!!)
    Already the ‘experts’ for the City have admitted an inability to find a way to justify the initial valuation thought they have tried. As a matter of fact they have come up short by around $100 Million. Now that is a considerable sum. Keep it in mind when the UI coal plant is depicted as near extinction (as would the substantial flow of $2.5 Million per year of taxes paid on the property currently).
    What is Plan B for the City if the Supreme Court tells the City they are wrong in recent years? What economic development coming on line makes up for a $100 Million hit to the Net Grand List? Is Plan B to keep Wheelabrator in court?
    Did it ever cross the mind of the Mayor and other budgeters to stop playing games with the payroll and benefits budgeted around $5 Million per year in excess of those specific needs? Of course where could the City have found their “share” of necessary dollars to do the “green work?” Will we go sit in a park when the merry-go-round stops at City Hall and there is no money left to play games with? At what point in the next year will Mayor Finch get serious about spending and enter a financial 12-Step program? Will he have to provide that $600 in order to make amends? And how will he make up the loss of value on homes in the City because of the very real fear of taxation, mentioned by CaptainDavidHawley? Time will tell.

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