Reval leads to dip in grand list

BEACON FALLS — The town’s grand list decreased by more than 5 percent following a property revaluation.

The 2016 net grand list is $464.4 million, a decrease of $25.1 million, or 5.12 percent, from the 2015 grand list.

A municipality’s grand list is a tabulation of the assessed values of real estate, personal property and motor vehicles.

The loss stems from a decline in the assessed value of real estate, which dropped nearly $27.6 million, or 6.52 percent, to $395.3 million in the 2016 grand list.

Assessor June Chadderton said the decrease is primarily due to the property revaluation the town underwent in 2016.

The state requires municipalities to perform property revaluations every five years to assess the current market values of properties for tax purposes.

Chadderton said last week she was still working on calculating the effect the revaluation had on the average household value in town and didn’t have exact numbers available.

The drop in real estate assessments was offset some by increases in personal property and motor vehicle assessments.

The assessed value of personal property increased $652,153, or 2.7 percent, to $24.1 million.

The increase is mainly due to a storage tank facility built by Pioneer Gas and United Rentals, an equipment rental company, increasing its inventory, Chadderton said.

The assessed value of motor vehicles went up $1.8 million, or 4.2 percent, to $44.9 million.

However, that number might change due to ongoing problems at the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

The DMV ran into problems when it switched computer software last year. The problems included vehicles being registered in the wrong towns and appearing on the wrong grand lists.

Chadderton said the numbers used in the grand list are what the DMV sent the town in October and will be updated if any additional information is sent over.

“There is no way to tell if it will change,” Chadderton said.

The drop in the grand list equates to a loss of about $826,000 in tax revenue based on the current 32.9 mill rate.

The mill rate will likely have to be adjusted higher for the coming fiscal year to compensate for the loss in revenue unless additional revenue is secured. That doesn’t mean a homeowner’s property taxes will increase solely based on the change, it would depend on how a home’s value fared under the revaluation.

First Selectman Christopher Bielik said the decrease in the grand list comes during an already difficult budget season.

He pointed to Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposed state budget, which would cut funding and increase the financial burden on about 130 municipalities around the state, including Beacon Falls.

“It is going to be a very challenging budget year,” Bielik said.

Bielik said the town’s municipal budget is only 30 percent of residents’ taxes, with the Region 16 school budget making up the other 70 percent.

“We have been doing an excellent job locally of eliminating waste and generating revenue,” Bielik said. “There is not a lot more we can squeeze out of our 30 percent. It is obviously going to be challenging for us, that’s for sure.”

Top 10 Taxpayers

Two North Main LLC…$10,045,670

Connecticut Light & Power…$9,545,360

EG Home LLC…$3,453,340

Murtha Enterprises Inc…$3,432,160

United Rental North America, Inc…$2,842,360

Aquarian Water Company…$2,615,730

Murtha Industrial Four LLC…$2,563,570

SMSP-Connecticut LLC…$2,379,210

CRC Development LLC…$2,087,250

Seymour Beacon Falls LLC…$1,844,170

The figures represent the combined assessment for the taxpayers. List provided by the Beacon Falls Assessor’s Office.