Reval complete; Grand List reflects 1.15% increase

The town’s recent real estate revaluation did not result in a significant shift in the balance between commercial and residential properties, according to Town Hall. However no comparison of current versus existing commercial real estate values was provided - only a chart showing the increases or decreases in residential values.

Of 16,325 residential properties, 56.1 percent experienced a reduction in assessed value, and 43.9 percent saw their property value increase. The majority – 71.5 percent - saw their property value increase by a modest 1 percent or less or lost up to 5 percent of value. 1,823 homes – or 11.2 percent of owners - saw their property value decline between 5 and 10 percent, compared to the previous town wide real estate valuation. By state law, all municipalities are required to conduct a property revaluation every four years.

Overall the town’s overall Grand List upon which taxes are due was up $39,835,347 to $3,028,888,231. After tax exempt properties were taken into account, the net Grand List dropped to $2,764,872,495.

The town’s top 10 taxpayers continue to be led by United Technologies Corporation, the parent of Pratt & Whitney Aircraft and United Technologies Research Center in town. UTC property totals $390 million – an increase from its $353 million overall real estate and personal property assessment in 2013. Number two on the Grand List is Goodwin College which owned $76 million in property in 2013 and saw that figure increase to $125 million on the 2016 Grand List.
Although the amount of tax exempt property in East Hartford grew significantly – from $378 million in 2012 to $468 million on the latest Grand List - most of the tax exempt property is personal property, up from $202 million in 2012 to $286 million on the latest 2016 list signed Tuesday by Town Assessor Brian Smith.

According to a statement issued by Mayor Marcia Leclerc, “statistically, 46 percent of residential properties held their value or experienced a small decline of no more than 2 percent compared to 5 years ago. Of the remaining properties, 37 percent saw a decline in value of more than 5 percent while 17 percent saw an increase in value of more than 1 percent. All totaled, revaluation will not have a significant impact on taxation compared to the prior year.”

The mayor noted that Real Estate increased by $13.3 million, 0.6 percent, compared to the prior year. That was a result of new construction of the Pratt and Whitney Headquarters Building which is estimated to be 25 percent complete as of the Grand List date, plus the UTC Engineering Building which was estimated to be 25 percent complete.

“While the town will enjoy some growth in the Real Estate component of the grand list based on this construction, it should be noted that these two buildings, once a certificate of occupancy is issued later in 2017 will be 80 percent tax exempt for 5 years as a result of being constructed in an Enterprise Zone which confers such tax benefits on new manufacturing construction,” stated the mayor.

Personal Property growth of $10.7M or 4.15 percent was experienced as a result of new equipment beginning to be placed into service by manufacturing companies in East Hartford. Such growth is traditionally led by Pratt and Whitney which regularly reinvests in their East Hartford facility.
“Finally, Motor Vehicle growth of $7.5M or 2.8 percent was experienced as a result of more new car purchases compared to last year. Also of note was the increase of $22.5M or 5 percent now totaling $468.2M of tax exempt property including Goodwin College and a variety of other non-profits located within the community.”

The town is finalizing its annual budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year which begins July 1. The town has been operating under a budget freeze imposed by Mayor Leclerc at the beginning of the current fiscal year, and she cautioned that the town does not know what state funding will be.

“While a stable grand list is good news for the community, the upcoming budget for FY 18 will be driven both by the cuts in municipal aid from the State received in FY 17 after the setting of the town budget and the soon to be revealed State municipal aid for FY 18. As always, the town will work diligently to minimize the tax impact from any reductions in aid from the State,” Mayor Leclerc added.