New Haven Seeks Property Tax Hike on Small Businesses
New Haven is seeking legislative approval for a proposal that would shift more of the property tax burden from homeowners onto renters and small businesses throughout the Elm City.
The city’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2013 is based in part on allowing owner-occupied homes in the East Rock neighborhood to have their new property values phased in over five years.
Renters and small businesses in the city, however, would face the full implementation of revaluation under a higher mill rate needed to make up for the owner-occupied exception.
The New Haven owner-occupied proposal must be incorporated as an amendment to existing legislation because the city approached lawmakers after the deadline for bill-writing.
And because there is no specific bill for the New Haven proposal, it was not the subject of a public hearing.
If officials believe that a phase-in of the revaluation is necessary to stall its full impact on property owners, the delay should be applied across the board to all property owners.
It’s unfair to assume that renters and small businesses are more able to afford the property tax increase from revaluation.
What’s more, the economic track record for that type of carve-out is poor. At Hartford’s request the legislature allowed the city to shift more of its property tax burden onto commercial properties. But that has been a significant factor in the city’s office vacancy rate ballooning to 30%.
In February, New Haven had an unemployment rate of 11.7%–far above the state and federal jobless rates. As the city and state continue a slow recovery from the recession, policymakers should reject proposals that would discourage business investment and job creation in New Haven.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Bonnie Stewart at 860.244.1925 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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