To the Editor:
In a recent article, the Herald cited one of the common boasts of the current administration: that an increase in New Britain’s Grand List, the sum of all taxable property, is due to the “addition of several new businesses.” The fact is that our city’s Grand List, one of the smallest on a per capita basis in the state, did grow slightly. But only a quarter of taxable property is businesses, and the new ones had a small impact on the total Grand List. Most of the growth came from an increase in the assessed value of homes. That means our residents, who pay the fourth highest tax rate in the state, are paying even more. Our Grand List tragedy cannot be easily solved. Basing our cities’ budgets almost totally on property taxes is a horrible injustice to cities like New Britain. But pretending that business growth will solve our cities huge fiscal challenges ignores the truth: New Britain is facing a crisis of high taxes and underfunded services, from education to road maintenance to senior services. We DO have a lot to cheer about in New Britain. But we need more than cheerleaders in City Hall. We need deep change and leaders who will make the hard choices needed to move our community forward.
Candidate for New Britain City Council