As the city positions to persuade Speaker of the House Brendan Skarkey to delay state-mandated revaluation of property for two years, his spokesman Gabe Rosenberg tells the Connecticut Post, “Except for extreme exigencies, the speaker is not in favor of delaying revals … He’s interested in seeing the argument Bridgeport puts forth, but it tends not to be something he’s in favor of.”
The city’s putting on a push for the upcoming legislative session in a last-ditch effort to postpone reval through legislative approval. The city will need, however, a budget contingency in place of a failed “exigency” for the budget year beginning July 1.
City officials want to delay reval for several reasons including anticipation of tax revenue for development projects such as the Steel Point redevelopment area coming on line. Some of the higher-taxed neighborhoods such as Black Rock and North End could absorb the reval blow. Implementing reval could also juice motor vehicles taxes, scare away businesses fearing a higher mil rate as well as put some fragile businesses over the edge. The city’s current mil rate is 41.855, among the highest in the state.
“The impact of this revaluation would have a serious negative impact on our home-ownership rates, and could drive much-needed economic development out of our region,” Mayor Bill Finch said last week. “The state of Connecticut has invested millions of dollars in housing, jobs programs, brownfield cleanup and economic development in Bridgeport that would be seriously compromised.”
Facing reelection next year, Finch would like reval put off for two years to avoid volatility in the tax rate.
“Two years away” has been a consistent theme from city officials for more than six years. “We’re two years away.”
Maybe if they keeping saying it long enough it will happen.