‘Two Years Away’–In Case Of “Exigency” Break (Revaluation) Glass

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.



  1. If they lose it one way they will get it another way, which makes it impossible for me and the rest of the city to sell their houses without taking a beating.

  2. It is so difficult to know where to begin. The Finch administration has consistently refused to step up to the plate, take responsibility for the financial morass in which Bridgeport resides or do the slightest thing about it. This is a guy who has raised taxes 3 (or 4) times in 6 or so years. He claimed he had to raise taxes for the library referendum win but in fact he needed .3 of one mil to do that. BUT, he raised our taxes one mil and his administration pocketed the other .7 mil. Cheapskate and liar. If he thinks Black Rock and the North End can absorb another tax increase, he is dead wrong. NO ONE in Bridgeport, no matter where they live, can absorb another tax increase. Finch needs to get over this ridiculous default he has about socioeconomic class–it’s all relative, Bill. None of us, rich, poor, middle class, can absorb your incompetency. None of us. Suck it up, put on your big-boy pants if you know where they are and govern this city. Manage the city instead of asking the state to bail you out on pensions and revaluations. Instead of creating a budget that is creative, imaginary and absurd, do a budget that is real, make a plan, do something for heaven’s sake. Really. Suck it up Bill.
    P.S. Real economic development would be a real plus. The mattress factory and bio-diesel factory are facades and you need to stop announcing them every two months as evidence of progress. BTW, would love to have the schedule for those water taxis–please send asap.

  3. If I were Speaker of the House (boy that’s a scary statement), I would tell the mayor to put down on a piece of paper all of the new private revenues that will be generated in the next two years. And then swear it will happen. If it is substantial enough and credible enough then I would ask the mayor if he is prepared to resign if it doesn’t. Let’s see what would happen then.

  4. By delaying reval, two things happen:
    1. Inequities are allowed to continue. The purpose of a reval is to ensure everyone pays their share. If someone’s property lost or gained value more than other comparable properties, without a reval they will be paying more or less than what they should be.

    2. In a declining market, it hides the true mil rate by showing a lower number (based on a higher valuation). Although on average no one’s tax bill will change (except for corrected inequities), the true higher mil rate (based on the correct, lower valuation) just makes it that much more obvious how badly taxpayers are getting screwed. Finch must be out of his mind if he believes businesses considering moving to Bridgeport (or Speaker Sharkey) will be taken in by this charade.

  5. Many states cap property taxes, Mass being the most recent state to join this practice. A homeowner pays a fixed percentage of their property value, in CA it is 1% and I believe in MA it is 2%. This accomplishes two things, cities know what the property tax income will be and must budget accordingly, and people know what their taxes are and can budget accordingly. New York has a mansion tax, a one-time tax paid at purchase on property purchased over one million dollars. CT has more people leaving than staying or moving into the state. As one of the topmost taxed per capita states, with declining population, property tax reform should be seriously considered. And not just implementing a mansion tax!


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