Concerned about the impact the current economic crisis may have on property owners the Senate voted 31 to 3 Wednesday in favor of a bill that allows cities and towns to delay the implementation of a recent property revaluation or the phase-in of a property revaluation until 2011.
Proponents of the bill like Sen. Majority Leader Martin Looney, said the City of New Haven is anxious to have this bill passed because a one-year delay will save residential taxpayers from a steep property tax hike during an economic crisis.
But some lawmakers were concerned that the backlog of communities delaying revaluation could mean taxpayers will be just be putting off the inevitable tax increases. In addition lawmakers said they were concerned about the demand for the handful of property revaluation companies certified to do business in the state of Connecticut.
“There’s a lack of reval companies out there,” Sen. Leonard Fasano, R-North Haven, said. Fasano ended up voting in favor of the bill, but said he’s concerned about what will happen if communities continue delaying revaluations.
As an extreme example, he mentioned Waterbury, which waited so long to do a revaluation that when it finally did one, it sent homeowners into shock and sent the city spiraling into bankruptcy.
Sen. President Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn, said a provision in the bill will allow local communities to team up and assess properties on a regional basis without the help of a revaluation company. The provision will take pressure off the revaluation companies and save towns money by using the personnel in the assessor’s office to do the work, Williams said.
In order to delay implementation of a revaluation the local governing body would have to vote on it, according to the language in the bill.
The bill was transmitted to the House for approval.
The level of Boughton's tax increase relies upon the passage of this bill in the House and Senate, as well as Governor Rell's signature.