BY ANDREAS YILMA
NAUGATUCK — Borough officials approved a motion to phase-in of property assessments under the revaluation. A three- year senior local tax relief program also was approved.
The Board of Mayor and Burgesses at a May 10 special meeting for the implementation of the revaluation of all real property in the borough effective by requiring Assessor Shelby Jackson gradually phase in the increase of assessments for the Oct. 1, 2022, grand list over three years.
For the Oct. 1, 2022, grand list, 40% of the increase of assessments for each property would be phased-in.
During the following two years, they would be phased-in at 35% and 25%, respectively.
The borough board along with Jackson, Controller Allyson Bruce and Tax Collector Jim Goggin went through several scenarios of different properties going up in assessment value.
Values increased from 18% to 87% for residential properties and 2.75% to as much as 73% for commercial properties.
The municipality conducted a state-mandated revaluation of all the houses and commercial buildings last year.
“What we’re trying to do (with the phase-in) is to find a way to help the people who need help the most,” Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said. “We’re going to try and protect those that are most vulnerable and we’re going to try and minimize the adverse impact on those who will be losing money in the phase in by getting them to a 75% level in year two and there are many moving parts, many people are impacted in different ways.”
“More people lose more if we implement (the revaluation) all at once,” the mayor said.
“The most vulnerable group would be the seniors or people on the fixed income and the people who generally would want no phase in the most would be commercial, industrial and people whose properties did not go up much in their assessment.”
The Board of Mayor and Burgesses unanimously approved a motion instructing Jackson, Goggin, Bruce and Hess to finalize a senior homeowner local tax relief program for three years that would provide a $600 credit in year one, a $300 credit in year two and a $150 credit in year three.
Borough officials are expected to refine the program, after which it would be brought back to the borough board for a final vote at the June 6 meeting.
The program would apply to persons over 65 years old; who have lived in the borough for at least five years; and have an income of no more than $60,000 for married couples and no more than $50,000 for single rsidents.
“We all know that the seniors are at a big disadvantage in this town. We have a lot of seniors,” Neth said. “Me personally, I think they all need help.”
Hess said this program would not impact the mill rate and the funds would come out of a reserve account and would be replenished from expected sales of real estate.