Friday, February 01, 2013
Another Positive Economic Sign: Grand List Up 1.5%
By James Lomuscio
UPDATE Westport Assessor Paul Friia gave the town some good news today with the announcement that the Grand List is up 1.5 percent over 2011, with most of the increase due to a jump in home construction activity.
Paul A. Friia: real estate and personal property helped boost Grand List. Contributed photo
The net Oct. 1, 2012 Grand List of $9,804,698,690, signed by Friia at month’s end on Thursday as required by state statute, increased from the previous year’s $9,655,275,688.
Friia said the jump of approximately $149 million represents a 1.4 percent growth in real estate assessement totals, with the remaining increase from assessments of motor vehicles and personal property, which are valued annually.
The real estate update was based on market values determined by the town’s Oct. 1, 2010 revaluation, he said.
“The majority of the increase came from more than 80 new home constructions, and residential and commercial renovations,” Friia said.
“It appears that Westport remains a desirable place to live, and I think it’s reflected in the activity that we see in building permits and the real estate activity in town,” he added.
The Grand List is the sum of the net assessed value of all taxable property –- real estate, motor vehicles, and personal property, and “is a result of residential and commercial new construction and renovation activity that occurred within the past assessment year and indicates the continued strength of the Westport market,” according to Friia.
Personal property showed a 10 percent increase in assessment totals, “reflecting a continued increase in commercial business activity.”
“We did get a considerable boost from CL&P with their new transmission station, and also from lease held improvements completed by Bridgewater at their facilities,” said Friia.
According to Friia’s report, the top 10 taxpayers in town have assessments ranging from more than $131.4 million to $17.1 million, with Connecticut Light & Power leading the list, followed by Nyala Farms, Inc. with an assessed value of more than $78.2 million, and Bridgewater with a more than $27.8 million assessment. (See separate story here)
He added that motor vehicle assessment totals were approximately 1.5 percent less than they were on the 2011 grand list, which appears to be consistent with other Connecticut towns.
The breakdown of the 2012 Grand List is: $9,208,096,516 for real estate; 285,092,387 for personal property; and 311,509,693 for motor vehicles.
The total Grand List will be used for the 2013-14 budget calculations, calculations that are subject to change pending Board of Assessment Appeals hearings in March, Friia said.
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Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport