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August 28, 2019

CCM says its property tax analysis contained flawed data

Connecticut Conference of Municipalities report highlighting rising property taxes across much of the state contained a major factual error, CCM announced Tuesday.

But while Monday’s report inflated the total number of communities that raised property taxes, its conclusion — that roughly 60% of municipalities not experiencing revaluation raised taxes in 2019 — was accurate.

“The report that CCM released on August 26 regarding property tax rates for all 169 cities and towns in Connecticut contained incorrect data,” CCM Executive Director Joe DeLong wrote in a statement Tuesday, adding that internal protocols to “rigorously review data before release” were not followed. 

“No way to sugar coat this: we screwed up,” DeLong wrote. “I want to personally apologize for our mistake, and after releasing the correct data, CCM will revisit our internal processes to find a way to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.”

CCM, the chief lobbying arm for Connecticut cities and towns, sought to analyze how many communities increased property taxes for the fiscal year that began July 1.

The analysis focused chiefly on communities that had not undergone property revaluation over the past year. The process of revaluation, which is performed periodically and required by state law, can lead to lower property tax rates even if owners end up paying more in taxes.

CCM initially reported Monday that only 14 out of 169 cities and towns had completed revaluation just prior to this fiscal year. And of the remaining 155 communities, 91 of them, or 59%, had increased property taxes for 2019-20.

But the corrected report released Tuesday showed a much larger number of municipalities — 47 — had undergone revaluation. And of the 122 cities and towns that had not, 79 of them, or 65%, had increased taxes.

Tuesday’s revised report also found the per capita property tax burden in Connecticut is $2,847, which is almost twice the national average of $1,518 and 3rd highest in the U.S.

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