Trumbull home owners – ignore the doom and gloom headlines about your taxes!
A friend just sent me an e-mail telling me his property tax is going up 22%.
“Not so fast Charlie Brown.”
The Mill Rate may rise 22%. But, remember, the reval took your home's appraised value down by almost the same. So the second change about offsets the first.
“Do the numbers, see what your actual tax cost will be.”
He did. “Thank you. My taxes will go down $1,000.”
I reminded him the numbers are still preliminary, except for his home's assessed value. Nothing's official until May 20th, when the budget becomes effective. So what you've heard are estimates. Informed, perhaps, but estimates.
What's behind it?
First, we all knew our homes aren't worth what they were at the 2006 reval. All the recent one did was record a new “official” value for the town Assessor. Our homes were marked to market.
Meanwhile, many larger commercial properties rose in value.
We've all seen how much more inviting both the Westfield Trumbull Mall and the Hawley Lane Mall have become because their owners recently made substantial investments; Home Depot appears on the October, 2011 Grand List as a completed project for the first time; and owners of some bigger office and other non-retail buildings invested in their properties.
Commercial growth exceeded residential loss. The result – commercial property owners now own more of the total tax bill - at least until at least the next reval.
What does this mean for the homeowner?
An estimate of one town hall administrator – again, working with preliminary information - was that as many as 90% of Trumbull's homeowners may not see a tax increase. Another, using a calculator on the same “back of the envelope” figures, estimated that if your home value went down by more than about 20% your taxes should not rise.
Did you finally do that big kitchen renovation, add a bedroom or two, or put in that home theater you've been wanting? Yup, your taxes go up!
Wanna know who takes a big hit? First Selectman Tim Herbst. He bought a real fixer upper a couple of years ago and really fixed it up.