Beacon Falls’ grand list drops 12.75 percent

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BEACON FALLS — The town’s grand list dropped dramatically due to a plunge in real estate values town wide following a revaluation.

The total net grand list for Oct. 1, 2011 is $412,557,182, a roughly $68.9 million or 12.75 percent decrease from 2010.

“I’m extremely disappointed but not surprised,” First Selectman Gerard Smith said.

A town’s grand list is the total valuation of taxable property within the town broken down into three categories — real estate, motor vehicles, and personal property.

The drop in Beacon Falls’ grand list stems from a nearly $70 million decrease in real estate values in town, which officials attributed to the slumping economy.

The town recently completed a revaluation. With the economy and housing market in a lull, Smith said everybody’s real estate values declined steeply.

The net real estate values in town dropped 14.4 percent from $482,226,352 to $421,557,182.

Personal property values, which covers items and equipment owned by businesses, decreased as well but at a much smaller 4.1 percent drop. Personal property values came in at $18,334,872 million for the 2011 grand list, a decrease of $780,377 from 2010.

Motor vehicle values saw the only increase for the 2011 grand list. Motor vehicle values rose $1,527,024 or 3.9 percent to $40,640,550. The increase was attributed to the purchase of more new vehicles in town.

The effect of the decrease will be felt in the town’s mill rate. The mill rate will have to be adjusted higher for the coming fiscal year to compensate for the loss in revenue caused by the drop in the grand list. If the mill rate is adjusted that doesn’t mean taxes will increase solely due to any change made in the rate. Any tax increase would depend on how a person’s real estate, motor vehicle or personal property values were impacted by the revaluation and any increases in spending for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

In the face of such a steep decline in the grand list, Smith said the town is going to work to come up with a budget that balances expenses and revenues.

“We’re going to try to balance our expenses with the revenues we have to come up with a responsible budget,” Smith said.

Top Ten Taxpayers

Connecticut Light & Power—–$9,313,210

BMV Associates I LLC—$8,459,850

Wyndham at Chatfield Farms LLC—$4,990,900

Murtha Enterprises Inc.—$3,432,320

Aquarion Water Co. of Connecticut—$2,734,790

BMV Associates II LLC—$2,610,290

Murtha Industrial Four LLC—$2,524,210

SMSP-Connecticut LLC—$2,346,400

CRC Development LLC—$2,057,590

Seymour Beacon Falls LLC—$1,985,520

Figures denote the total assessed value for real estate and personal property. List provided by Beacon Falls Assessor’s Office.