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Trumbull Tax Rate Set at 30.71 Mills, a 23% Increase

But most residential values dropped by 20 percent on average, and a tax reduction for many homes is expected.

Trumbull's new tax rate is 30.71 mills, after the Board of Finance approved it Wednesday night.

Combined with reduced home values after the revaluation, taxes will drop for some. Business assessments also fell, but not as much as on the residential side.

"The average change was something like a 3.56 percent decrease," said Tax Assessor Mark DeVestern. "There are going to be some that don't change."

A mill is $1 per $1,000 of assessed value. According to DeVestern, the Grand List changes were:

2010 2011 Change REAL PROPERTY $4,700,793,234 $3,919,111,100 ($781,682,134) MOTOR VEHICLE $257,591,729 $269,939,045 $12,347,316 PERSONAL PROPERTY $251,501,950 $250,052,010 ($1,449,940)
Net Taxable Grand List $5,209,886,913 $4,439,102,155 ($770,784,758) (14.79%)

Last year, with new businesses coming in and the Westfield Trumbull Mall improvements, the Grand List grew by $93 million. This year, real property values fell by $782 million.

Personal property, or business property, fell by $1.5 million, while motor vehicle tax rolls grew by $12.3 million.

In total, the Grand List fell by 14.79 percent, said DeVestern.

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The results are not unexpected, since the Town Council and Board of Finance did not substantially change First Selectman Tim Herbst's recommended budget.

"There's very little change from where we started except for removal of the using the fund balance," said Finance Board Chairwoman Elaine Hammers.

She referred to a plan to use surplus to offset the tax rate increase. "I'm not comfortable taking money out of the fund balance this year," she said.

Member Tom Tesoro agreed. He said he voted for it one year and called it a "big mistake."

"I don't think we should ever do that," he said.

After the last revaluation in 2006, smaller homes saw the biggest increase in value and fell back just as quickly this time.

Alternate member Cindy Penkoff said she agreed the fund balance should not be used. She said the town had a "perfect storm" this year leading to the drop in residential taxes.

Some waterfront properties, and other homes, actually saw tax increases, it was noted.

louis May 25, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Boy, these Republicans and Democrats got it so you only pay lower taxes when your property loses its value. Talk about a lose-lose bargain. You folks have been paying taxes based on the latent profit or equity on your home's valuation for years and years, folks you'all never see that money until you sell your home! Now if you sell because of Republican and Democrat policies, the market is down south and you will lose more money. These guys really don't do anything but to issue press releases with photo attached, telling you they are raising your taxes!
M Shapiro May 25, 2012 at 03:12 PM
During good times and bad my assessed home price has never fallen before, that's over 30 years, and now my car taxes are going to have a 23% increase! The roads are so bad in Trumbull I try to take the highways to stay off the local roads whenever possible. The sewer project which was supposed to have finished a year ago isn't even being worked on at this point. Town government has grown every year the Republicans have been in control and this year the real growth in government is close to 5.5% and that's with normally expensed items such as road repair being placed on the town's charge card. This Republican town government is definitely taking us down the wrong path. But I know what the Board of Finance chairman would say to my comments, WRONG ANSWER!
Sad Dem May 25, 2012 at 06:20 PM
First of all Marty, they are working on the sewers. They stopped for three weeks because those awful republicans didn't just hand them another 500k-600k they were asking for in extras. Your buddies who previously ran the town would have cut some deal and gave them what ever they wanted. Remember the feds aren't around for my people. This sewer project was 110% the dems baby. Your friends created this unbelievable mess and your blaming the R's. Have a nice weekend. And keep taking those highways.
Tom Kelly May 25, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Vincent, your party has been in control for over 2.5 years now. How long can you keep blaming the Democrats? The WPCA has completely turned over...each one appointed by Mr. Herbst. That WPCA has spent almost $2 million on Tighe and Bond to oversee the project, so with that kind of oversight, it's pretty empty to try to continue to blame the last Democratic administration. The people simply won't buy it. Any idea where those assessments are that were promised months ago? Let's examine some FACTS about the mill rate. FACT #1: The Republicans have just increased the mill rate to it's highest number since 1989...that's 23 years since the mill rate has been this high. FACT #2: The increase in the mill rate is the highest percentage increase since 1958. That's 54 years since the mill rate increased this much in one year. Why there will be some who brag about residential taxes going down, they don't tell you the following information: 1. Car taxes are going UP by 23% this year, which will wipe out much, and in some cases, all of the residential tax. 2. Not everyone is getting a residential tax cut. Taxes on some homes are going up by as much as 10%. 3. Trumbull residential sewer users will be charged a sewer use fee for all outside water use such as a hose, the sprinkler system, filling the pool, watering the garden, or washing the car, even though that water never enters the sewer system. The WPCA did not put a reminder of the change on the last bill.
Carol Hudak May 27, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Ah, the GOP shell game! $2M. on T&B ( I'm waiting for a sharp $$ person to do a complete audit of that Herbst project) and car taxes up 23%. My car's 11 years old, I'll be paying more in taxes than the car is worth. LOL Way to go, GOP. Oops . .I forgot!! YOU LOWERED OUR TAXES!!! WAKE UP, TRUMBULL. YOU'RE BEING HAD -- BIG TIME.
Anthony Musto May 27, 2012 at 08:22 PM
There is no way this constitutes a tax cut. This is a spending increase and tax increase. When people talk about raising taxes they are actually talking about raising the tax rate. When your income tax rate goes from 1% to 2% it's a tax increase. The fact that the tax base - your income - dropped and you actually pay less in taxes at the 2% rate does not mean it's a tax cut. Here we have the same thing- the taxes went up from 25 to 31 mils but the tax base - property values - dropped so much that some people's tax payments went down - but it's still at tax increase. It's disingenuous to call this a tax cut. In fact, tax payments are going up by almost 5%, it's just that people will be paying them on business property and automobiles. So, the tax rate went up, tax payments went up, spending went up, business taxes went up, automobile taxes went up. There is no tax cut here. Anthony Musto
Tom Kelly May 27, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Not only is a tax rate increase and an increase in tax revenues, but Trumbull residents are getting less for their tax dollar than ever before. Let me repeat that again. While Mr. Herbst prioritizes office renovations and new positions in town government, Public Works Director John Marsillio said last week that the bond that will pay for road paving this year will cover 3 miles of town roads. However, he said that there are 280 miles of roads in Trumbull. Not only are we bonding to pay for road paving, but if we only pave 3 miles per year, it would mean that it would take over 90 years to repave the entire town! Fees are up across the board, including a change in the billing from the WPCA which will require residents to pay a sewer use fee for outside water use this summer--even though that water never enters the sewer system! All this, and a 4.52% increase in town spending brought to you by the Trumbull Republicans, who have just increased the mil rate to its highest amount in 23 years and the biggest one year percentage increase in the mil rate since 1958.
Richard Resnick August 04, 2012 at 03:45 PM
For practical purposes, all town real estate values are based on the quality of our schools. We pay more in taxes on lower selling valuations for our homes in Trumbull compared to Westport,and even Fairfield, simply because our schools have deteriorated in the public's mind. If you want to add value to justify our taxes, schools always have to come first. It is very simple and true. Our school reputation is in a serious downswing while the taxes we pay, regardless of how they are figured, are in an upswing. This is a recepy for disaster. Dick Resnick

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