New Haven Independent: Walker Bill Could Keep Property Taxable

by Lucy Gellman | Mar 6, 2017

Hartford—Two groups facing financial pressure — cities and not-for-profits — have found themselves on opposite sides of a state bill that would give New Haven power to limit new property-tax exemptions.

Proposed by New Haven State Rep. Toni Walker, Hartford Rep. Matthew Ritter and New London Rep. Chris Soto, the bill would allow municipalities to vote on whether or not to allow a new purchaser to take a property off the tax rolls. Right now if a not-for-profit entity buys a property that generates taxes, the property comes off the tax rolls.

“This is another way of trying to look at property that is taken off the books in towns like New Haven, New London, and Hartford where the tax base is shrinking, giving local entities more control,” Walker said after the hearing. “We’re in a tight fiscal year where we’ve got to give our local municipalities a way to level the mill rates. If you’re going to take property away from our tax base, you’ve got to come before the Board of [Alders]. It’s up to them to make the recommendation. I think it’s time.”

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