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August 26, 2019

79 CT munis raised property tax rates for new fiscal year

Graphic | Telematics and Informatics 35 (2018) 1408–1420 A map of Connecticut cities and towns.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated and corrected from its original version. The original data published by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities for this story was inaccurate, CCM said. The inaccuracies were a result of CCM's own research. The story now contains accurate and up-to-date data, according to CCM.


Nearly 80 Connecticut municipalities raised property tax rates this fiscal year, a sign that city and town budgets continue to be strained, according to a new analysis released Monday by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM).

Property tax hikes took place in 79 municipalities across the state in fiscal 2019-20 that did not perform a revaluation, according to the CCM analysis. Fifty-nine of those towns had tax hikes greater than the latest 1.6 percent inflation rate reported for Connecticut.

Thirty towns were able to sustain the same mill rate and 13 towns were able to slightly reduce their mill rate.

The 47 towns that were scheduled for revaluation in 2018 were not included in the analysis.
Statewide, local property taxes now total more than $11 billion, an increase of at least $500 million since 2017, CCM said.  That exceeds the state's largest source of revenue, the personal income tax, which yielded nearly $10.8 billion in 2018.
“The need for adequate state aid to achieve significant property tax relief — along with other diversified local revenue sources and greater authority to contain local costs — is undeniable,” said Joe DeLong, CCM executive director and CEO. “Nearly 100 towns and cities were forced to increase their property tax rates because of cuts in some state aid programs, and in spite of sustained state aid in others areas for local governments.”

Earlier this year, HBJ published a series highlighting Hartford’s property tax rate, which is by far the highest in Connecticut, and inequitable tax structure and how it’s impeding economic growth. 

Here are some other facts from CCM’s research:

  • The per-capita property tax burden in Connecticut is $2,847,  almost twice the national average of $1,518 and third highest in the nation.
  • The median property tax on owner-occupied housing in Connecticut as a percentage of median household income ranks the third highest in the nation.
  • The property tax in Connecticut is depended upon to raise 72 percent of all local revenues.
  • State and Federal payments to local governments are lower in Connecticut than in most other states.
  • State aid to municipalities in Connecticut still represents only 23.4 percent of municipal revenues, below the national average of 32.9 percent, and ranks Connecticut 40th in the nation in state aid to local governments.
  • The property tax is the highest tax that Connecticut businesses pay.

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August 27, 2019

Were property taxes a problem when Connecticut had no state income tax? No. Would Texas still be eating CT's lunch if it taxed incomes along with property? No.

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