NAUGATUCK — Even though the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in October, there haven’t been many smiles in the Red Sox-themed Naugatuck tax collector’s office.
“Many people have been angry about their motor vehicle tax bills, far more than usual,” Tax Collector Jim Goggin said.
That’s because, on average, Naugatuck residents have seen their motor vehicle tax bills increase by 25 percent over last year, when the tax rate jumped from 33.55 mills to 44.8 mills following a state-mandated revaluation. Motor vehicle values did not depreciate at a high enough rate for most people to avoid a major car tax increase, Goggin said.
Now, the borough is considering splitting the motor vehicle tax payment schedule for the first time next year so that people would pay twice a year, rather than just once. If approved, this option would be offered to anyone who owes more than $200 in motor vehicle taxes. They would be asked to pay half of what they owe every six months.
“We are looking to help people a little bit,” Goggin said. “I myself have two kids in college and those car tax bills usually come at the same time as those tuition bills. It would be nice to spread out the payments a little bit.”
Goggin said other municipalities, such as Waterbury, have split motor vehicle payments.
Burgess Laurie Taf Jackson initiated discussion about splitting the bills after receiving several complaints about high motor vehicle taxes.
Alec Wargo, chairman of the fiscal watchdog group Naugatuck Taxpayers in Revolt, says the idea is not as good as it sounds.
“The only way people are going to see some real relief is through a tax decrease,” he said. “Everything else is just a game.”