Do mill rate hikes affect where families or biz locate?

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Bridgeport is pondering a 2.5 mill rate hike for the next fiscal year, which could add $400 bucks to the average home owner’s bill and $981 to a business’ tax bill.

Yet prices for homes in Bridgeport are much lower than other areas of the county and there are some bargain prices for commercial buildings as well, making ownership, at least on its surface more attainable in the Park City.

We want to know what you think and where you’re looking for a new home or new business opportunity. Do you think increases in property taxes in Bridgeport or elsewhere could impact the pace of recovery in housing and commercial real estate in Southwest Connecticut?

Here’s the ranking of our area towns by last year’s mill rates. Most in Southwest Connecticut were in that 20 to 25 mill range. Only Bridgeport is above 40 and proposing to go higher. We’ve provided some of the proposed mill rates for the coming fiscal year as well.

A mill is equal to $1.00 of tax for each $1,000 of assessment. To calculate the property tax, multiply the assessment of the property, which is 70 percent of market value, by the mill rate and divide by 1,000. For example, a property with a assessed value of $50,000 located in a municipality with a mill rate of 20 mills would have a property tax bill of $1,000 per year.

Mill rates under 20

Greenwich proposed 10.675 mills from 10.389

Darien current proposed 13.51 from 12.68

New Canaan 14

Bridgewater current 17.5

Stamford 17.89 (Has multiple property tax rates)

Westport 17.91

Rates 20 to 25

Ridgefield 20.37

Wilton 21.055

Norwalk proposed 22.2 from 21.33 (Norwalk has 13 property tax rates that range within a mill of each other)

Shelton 22.4

Danbury proposed 26.8 mills from 22.45

Redding 23.28

Fairfield current 23.37

Oxford 24.1

Weston 24.02

Bethel current 24.07

Newtown 24.54

New Fairfield 24.66

Rates 25 to 30

New Milford 25.37

Milford 25.6

Ansonia current 27.65

Easton current 29.1

Monroe  29.26

Over 30

Trumbull 30.71

Seymour 32.83

Stratford 34.48

Derby current 35.5

Bridgeport proposed 43.6 from 41.11

Source: Office of Policy Management

Rob Varnon

4 Responses

  1. Vik says:

    To be honest I think people that own homes in B’port are being fleeced. I would move if I could but the market has not picked up yet. I never thought of looking into this when I bought the home but, seeing how my tax dollars are working in B’port from the city…time to move. Not sure if there is a petition that I can sign to prevent this from happening but would gladly do so. If consumer can learn to live within our means, so can the city.

  2. Pearl says:

    Our family left Easton because of the mill increase to 29.1, and the debt per capita highest in the state. Most realtors and prospective buyers often echoed the same sentiment.

  3. Rob Varnon says:

    That’s the key, I think Alex. I’ve talked to experts on taxing and they always come back to your point. If tax payers feel they’re getting value for what they pay, it becomes less of an issue. The big question I have is whether our affordable housing market will be stalled by tax increases due to a number of issues, including a reduction in federal and state aid. Are there any accountants out there who can discuss the ability to write off property taxes versus the upfront costs that affect the monthly budget?

  4. Alex says:

    Absolutely it makes a difference. Not only should you look at the mil rate but when you get for that mil rate. Yes, taxes are lower in Bport because the values of homes are so low(a lot of reasons for that) but when you look at how much you’re being taxed per $1000 dollars worth of property, you’re getting a terrible deal, especially with the services considered. I would never own a home in Bridgeport simply because you don’t get any value for what you pay (Look at the sham of the plowing services that happened, the contractors milked the city because they were paid hourly for overtime work, not to finish the job on time). I’ve rented in Bridgeport and I’ve learned my lessons from that alone. Too much waste in that city to ever consider it a worthwhile place to own land.