Ganim’s Budget Proposal Projects Cut, Flattening Of Tax Rate For Most Homeowners, Some Outliers In Revaluation Year

The proposed budget Mayor Joe Ganim will submit to the City Council on Monday, according to preliminary numbers by finance officials, will include about a 10 mil drop in the tax rate from the current 54 in a revaluation year projected to dip or hold the line on taxes for a majority of homeowners with some outliers in a few neighborhoods tabbed with higher assessments from the last implementation five years ago.

The spending plan for the budget year starting July 1 will be submitted to the Budget & Appropriations Committee, chaired by Scott Burns and Ernie Newton, where the nuts and bolts work of alterations takes place. This being an election year for council members they’ll present constituents the rosiest picture possible.

If you’re a homeowner in Black Rock, Brooklawn or North End expect to receive a reconciling of the bleak numbers from five years ago. Black Rockers, in particular, were clobbered by the lopsided assessments that saw taxes catapult in the city’s wealthiest neighborhood.

City bean counters are still fashioning some final numbers that includes a reimbursement increase from the state for payments in lieu of taxes on hospitals, universities and state-owned buildings, as well as extra loot from the federal government’s American Rescue Plan stimulus package.

In January Mike Fazio and Chris Kerin, executives at Fairfield-based Municipal Valuation Services, a leading assessment company in Connecticut hired to do the work provided councilors with a general overview of what to expect.

Single family homes, according to Fazio, increased in five years by 32 percent, condos 38 percent. “Bridgeport is experiencing a healthy real estate market. I have never seen it this active and positive,” he said.

The city’s Board of Assessment Appeals is navigating roughly 1,000 assessment challenges, work that will be wrapped up in April.

For years the board had been largely a one-man band but now has four members, Chairman Boka Benson, Ann Binkley, Andrea Garcia and Jacqueline Martoral.

The seven-member budget committee will spend several weeks reviewing the spending proposal, interviewing departments heads, hosting public hearings and executing changes prior to the full vote by the City Council. Afterwards the document goes back to the mayor for possible veto action, followed by the council’s final setting of the mil rate.

A mil is equal to $1.00 of tax for each $1,000 of assessment. To calculate the property tax, multiply the assessment of the property by the mil rate and divide by 1,000.

See here for a history of municipal mil rates.


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