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Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Property Tax Relief Initiative Passes Key Committee

A key legislative committee in Hartford has passed a bill aimed at helping Westport taxpayers and others in Connecticut who are facing large property tax increases.

The legislation would allow cities and towns to adopt local ordinances and exempt part of a residential homeowner’s property tax liability in an effort to soften the blow.

Westport’s 2003 property assessment, now postponed for a year, could have meant a double-digit or more ֖ jump in local taxes for some homeowners after their property was re-valued.

The legislation passed the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee 26-19 Monday. It awaits further action in the Senate.

Opponents said the bill would realign the local property tax system and place more of the tax burden on businesses.

Sen. William Nickerson, a Republican from Greenwich, called it the “most massive change” to local property taxes in history, according to the AP.

He questioned why lawmakers were pursuing such a policy reform when they haven’t held a public hearing on the concept.

“We are considering this without a shred of paper to guide us,” Nickerson said. He is the ranking Republican on the committee.

According to the legislation, a municipality could allow up to half of the assessed value of an owner-occupied property - up to $150,000 - be exempt from property tax so long as the owner lives permanently on the site.

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Posted 03/30/04 at 04:10 AM  Permalink



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