NEWINGTON â€“ The townâ€™s Grand List represents a 4.45% increase over last year, attributable to the 2020 revaluation.
Town Assessor Steve Kosofsky has certified Newingtonâ€™s list of taxable property, which totals $2,775,494,396, an increase of $118,245,572 over the 2019 Grand List.
During his presentation to the Town Council this week, Kosofsky told elected officials not to be fooled by the jump, as it does not reflect economic growth as much as it does the recent revaluation.
â€śWhile that (increase) certainly is good news,â€ť he explained, â€śit gives the council a little bit of flexibility in determining the budget for this coming yearâ€¦the major increase in this grand list was simply due to updating the basis of revaluation figures from 2015 to 2020.â€ť
Towns must conduct revaluations every five years, so property values were adjusted to reflect fair market value from the last revaluation in 2015. The 2020 Grand List assessments are locked in until 2025.
At Newingtonâ€™s current mill rate of 39.28, the grand list increase represents an additional $4,644,686 in new tax revenue. However, town officials have just begun their preparations for the 2021-22 budget and the mill rate will be adjusted accordingly before the July 2021 tax bills are distributed.
Tax exemptions represent nearly 15% of real estate, totaling $416,960,650.
Personal property totaled $169,607,780 in the 2020 Grand List, increasing 3.81% over 2019. The majority of this increase was due to the stateâ€™s reduction in its non-reimbursable exemption for manufacturing equipment and machinery.
Motor vehicles totaled $245,810,126, increasing 3.5% over 2019. The average vehicle assessment in Newington rose by $640.
Real estate assessments comprised $2,360,076,490 of the Grand List, 4.6% higher than 2019.
New economic development growth in the real estate section was just .20% higher than 2019.
â€śIn terms of actual economic development growth we are still sluggish in this community,â€ť Kosofsky pointed out. â€śThis has been a pattern for the third year in a row. Weâ€™re hopeful that the economic development projects weâ€™ve been working on will come to fruition and reach the grand list next year.â€ť
Town Manager Keith Chapman prioritized economic growth when he took the helm in early 2020.
He is in now in the process of finalizing an $11 million hotel deal on Cedar St. with a developer, among several tax revenue-generating projects in the works.