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Connecticut Conference of Municipalities Executive Director Joe DeLong Keith M. Phaneuf / CTMirror.org

A 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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Keith has spent most of his 31 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut’s transportation and social services networks. He has been the state finances reporter at CT Mirror since it launched in 2010. Prior to joining CT Mirror Keith was State Capitol bureau chief for The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, a reporter for the Day of New London, and a former contributing writer to The New York Times. Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

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3 Comments

  1. I always love hearing Selectmen and Mayors (falsely) touting property tax ‘decreases’ after revaluations. I’ve not had a tax reduction after any reval or refiguring…the rate may or may not be lower but the tax amount is always higher. So would be the RE agent’s commission, the amount paid to the state, etc.

  2. How hard is it to ask 169 towns and cities “did you raise property taxes?” Im not an economics major but you have 169 towns ands cities if 60 said yes they did then boom your number is that so then it would be 60 towns did and 109 didnt. See that was easy

    1. Hi IamMeA, as the article explains, a number of municipalities underwent property revaluations in the past year, which inevitably leads to a change in their mill rates – even if municipal spending is the same as the previous year. Because of that, CCM decided not to count mill rate changes in these municipalities as tax increases or decreases. However, CCM failed to correctly count the number of municipalities that underwent property revaluations, which had an impact on their final numbers.

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