15 Mar Windsor Locks grand list up 4.4%
By Anthony Branciforte
WINDSOR LOCKS — The 2017 grand list rose by 4.4 percent, or nearly $60 million, largely due to an ongoing personal property audit for local businesses.
Totaling about $1.3 billion, the grand list shows an increase in all three categories of taxable property.
The grand list represents the value of taxable property in town as of Oct. 1. It’s used to calculate the town’s tax rate.
The largest increase was in taxable personal property, which rose by 22 percent, or over $36 million, to $175,797,190.
“A growing economy is cited as a primary factor for the grand list growth, but much of the increase in personal property tax value is also being attributed to the effect of the ongoing personal property tax audit,” First Selectman Chris Kervick said.
The audit, which is being performed over a two-year period by Tax Management Associates, will cost the town almost $300,000 but is expected to net the town about $2.7 million.
In January, the first round of bills, totaling $270,000, were sent out to 18 local businesses.
While that number is only a small fraction of this year’s increased personal property value, Kervick said businesses’ self-reported personal property values soared, a phenomenon he said “would appear to be related to the audit.”
Although there are 951 fewer vehicles in town this year, values increased by about $400,000, to $220,873,750.
Real estate values rose by 2.6 percent to $911,279,381.
Kervick said, “There is still a long way to go” for the town to be in optimum fiscal order, but he said the town must do two things to keep moving in the right direction.
“We have to control spending, which our town employees, boards, and commissions have done, and we have to work like heck to grow revenue,” he said.