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House Speaker: Make CT Colleges and Hospitals Pay Property Taxes

By Keith M. Phaneuf and Arielle Levin Becker

www.ctmirror.org

Connecticut has long spared most colleges and hospitals from local property taxes and reimbursed their home communities with state grants worth a fraction of the lost tax revenue.

House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, says it’s time to effectively reverse that. The speaker’s proposal would subject the nonprofits to property taxes. And colleges and hospitals—not municipalities—could seek state grants to offset a portion of the cost.

Sharkey said the proposal is rooted in concerns about local taxes and the loss of taxable property as hospitals and colleges buy up real estate to use as outpatient facilities or faculty offices. Local taxpayers can’t afford to fund the police, fire and other services needed to support the nonprofit institutions without more help, he said.

“We already rely so heavily on the property tax,” Sharkey said Tuesday. “When they lose so much revenue from major institutions like this, the costs outweigh the benefits.”

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