Posts tagged ‘tax’

January 2nd, 2017

Your Property Taxes and You – Part 2

by Christopher O'Brien

Part 2 of a 3-part series.

By Roy Balkus

First, I need to correct an error in the first part of the series. To get the approximate fair market value of your home you need to divide the assessed value by .70! Not multiply it. My Editor, an English Major no doubt, got overly zealous in making corrections, ignoring the math guy. Sorry for that.

Editor’s Note: Yeah… I reversed the numbers while editing the first draft. Thanks to modern online editing, you’ll never see my error – it was corrected. But I defer to the math guy from now on! *Bows*

This series of articles was prompted by a lot of comments on Wolcott Chats, a Facebook group. Those comments paraphrased were “my assessment went down, I am going to save money on taxes”. If you are on Facebook and not a member of Wolcott Chats, I urge you to join it.

So, the grand list for any Connecticut city or town is made up of all the taxable property which consists of three components. The first component is real property which includes single family residences, multifamily residences, condos, and commercial/industrial property. The second component is personal property, motor vehicles, trailers, campers etc. and the final component is business equipment. Business equipment is a “complete and accurate description of all personal property used in the conduct of your business”. The link below will give a far better list of what business equipment is taxed. http://wolcottct.org/pages/page_content/secondary_town-departments_assessor_personal-property_personal-property-info.aspx

An increasing grand list is a good thing, a declining grand list is a bad thing. Yes, probably, but not always. Town spending is the real issue, if spending increases by a larger percentage than the grand list does then taxes will generally go up (there are also other sources of income).

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November 7th, 2016

State Legislative Endorsements

by Christopher O'Brien
Live in Connecticut?
Given the tax increases we have had already, and the ones still being proposed, you should think twice about voting for a Democratic legislator.
Let’s recap. Frankly, it started before Malloy when an overwhelming Democratic legislature decided to double our fees at the DMV. Then Malloy – after pledging not to raise taxes, instituted the largest and second largest income-tax increases in state history. The gas tax is still one of the highest in the country, and gee… can you find a job?
We all know friends and neighbors who have left. The rest of us are thinking about it too.
But wait… there’s even more taxes to come. Malloy and Democrats are considering a mileage tax! This would require the state – your Big Brother – to install a GPS device that tracks how far you drive. This may be only one step removed from tracking WHERE you drive. And there are other things that may be taxed as well. At the same time, Legislative Democrats are cutting funding to hospitals, disabled, and the poor, while giving money to Sikorsky just for sticking around, a special deal with Pratt and Whitney and ESPN just to stay here, and paying other businesses to move from one city to another. But even more businesses – from large General Electric moving from Fairfield to Boston, to smaller businesses, and even small businesses going out of business altogether.
On the Public Safety front, Connecticut is becoming a more dangerous place overall. Gov. Malloy and legislative Democrats approved an early release program for criminals who did not finish their sentences, or rehabilitative efforts. By our count, these releases have resulted in at least 3 murders and a rape of a child. Feel-good laws have been passed on gun control and human trafficking, but nothing practical which would prevent actual criminals to be stopped in their tracks, or sexual abuse victims to be assisted until after their perpetrators make their own mistakes to be arrested.
We spent nearly $1 billion on a busway from New Britain to Hartford while freight and railways continue to crumble. Parks are almost not opened at all during the summer, and while Democratic legislators claim to not have raised taxes this past year, they did cut disbursements to local towns- forcing towns to raise THEIR taxes instead.
This shell game has to end.
Thankfully, Wolcott has been well represented by two of the most fiscally conservative legislators in the State. Rob Sampson and Joe Markley not only have called out the unjustices in Hartford, they both have independently broken from their “go along to get-along” Republican Party members at times when it counted too.
We proudly endorse Markley and Sampson to another term – and look forward to more like- minded Republicans to join them in Hartford. Hopefully a critical mass will be elected on Tuesday that includes moderate Democrats that know how to get Connecticut back on track.
May 31st, 2014

Town Referendum Today on $11.9 Million Road Bond

by Christopher O'Brien

Town residents head to Wolcott High School today to vote on whether to approve an $11,910,000 bonding projects for roads, schools and a new public works garage. The High School is the only polling place for the vote including for those residents who normally vote at Wakelee or Tyrrell schools. The polls are open from 8 am – 8 pm.

The bonding package, involves the following general areas:

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October 8th, 2013

Election Choices: What Does That Person Do?

by Christopher O'Brien

vote clipartLocal politics are often the most personal engagement with our democratic form of government any of us will ever encounter. A President, for instance, campaigns for office only through our television sets and airways and most of us will never meet a Presidential candidate. However, we might bump into our local leaders on a regular basis in  IGA, Dunkin Donuts, church or a school function on any day of the week. We know their faces, but are you aware of the decisions they make that impact your life every day?

In many respects, your local elected leaders have a larger impact than the President or Congress. When politicians run for higher office, they often get their start on the local level as well. You can’t run a country with trillions of dollar budgets without first understanding million dollar budgets impacting a few thousand residents.

When you go into the voting booth on November 5th, will you know what you are selecting a candidate to actually do? Or will you choose them simply by name or facial recognition? Are they the best candidate for the job, and if so, what qualities matches that job applicant for that particular office?

This article is intended to help voters understand how Wolcott’s government works, and who does what.

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April 26th, 2013

Markley: Democratics Requesting More Than Malloy

by Christopher O'Brien

By Joe Markley

Back in February, the Governor claimed his budget reduced spending by $1.8 billion. In fact, his proposed budget actually increased state spending by nearly 10% over two years.  All he did was trim the rate of government growth; he made no actual reduction in spending.  In fact, the state will spend an additional $2.9 billion over the next two years under the governor’s proposal.

 

Now the Appropriations Committee has made a bad budget worse, spending approximately $55 million more than the Governor requested.

 

It bears repeating: we need to get our fiscal house in order. The Appropriations proposed budget not only increases spending but is also imbalanced. The majority party wants to redefine the budget cap, which is the height of hypocrisy. The spending cap has been changed repeatedly since it was put into place over twenty years ago, in the aftermath of passage of the state income tax.  In every case, spending has been removed from the cap—it’s a one-way deal, designed to thwart the clear will of the taxpayers.

 

While the Appropriations Committee was making its budget recommendations,

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January 28th, 2013

Feds Looking into Misallocation of State Bond Money; Legislature Under Investigation

by Christopher O'Brien

By Kevin Rennie

A federal investigation of corruption at the state legislature had bureaucrats scrambling last fall to obtain legal representation for the Legislative Commissioner’s Office (LCO) and, weeks later, the Executive Director of the Office of Legislative Management (OLM) after Attorney General George Jepsen “declined to represent” the legislative offices, Daily Ructions has learned. LCO, which strained to keep the matter secret, settled on the Hartford firm of O’Brien, Tanski & Young, asking that competitive bidding provisions be waived, “after receiving a list of firms whom [Jepsen’s office] would recommend to provide the requested services.”

Documents obtained by Daily Ructions reveal that those bureaucrats have gone to extraordinary lengths to keep information from taxpayers about the actions they are taking to protect the interests of their agencies and themselves at significant public expense. In emails, they discuss ways of wording  their communications in such a general way as to provide no useful information that would inform a member of the tax paying public who might seek access to their emails or letters through the Freedom of Information Act.

Continue Reading…

December 5th, 2012

140 Unit Senior Living Facility; Micro-Brewery Proposed

by Christopher O'Brien

A number of businesses are looking to move into Wolcott, signalling both a potentially improving local economy, as well as demand for services that are being met by local entrepeneurs. The Town’s Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a Public Hearing tonight at 6:30 on a proposed Assisted Living Facility adjacent to Wolcott View Manor on Beach Road.  A meeting will follow to consider six additional business related applications.

Some of those proposals include a fitness center in the former Wolcott Tire building, a microbrewery which will be housed near the Waterbury town line, a bakery, and a new church.

But the largest project may generate the most vigorous debate.

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November 23rd, 2012

Connecticut’s Fiscal Cliff

by Christopher O'Brien

Sen. Joe Markley

By Sen. Joe Markley

You may have heard that our state is facing a ‘gloom and doom’ budget scenario: a $365 million hole this fiscal year, and deficits of over a billion dollars in each of the next two years.

The current budget took effect just four months ago, but already revenue is down sharply, and spending is up.  The causes are clear, and not surprising:

  • People are not buying goods, so sales tax collection is less than expect.  Corporation tax revenue and money received from the state’s casinos have also declined.
  • Medicaid costs have increased by over $260 million
  • Personal expenses, salaries, and overtime for state workers is up over by $10 million

A November revenue report by the Office of Policy and Management and the Office of Fiscal Analysis (the state’s number crunchers) has just announced the alarming $365 million shortfall. As recently as November 1, the administration projected a deficit of only $61 million.

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September 15th, 2009

Business Incentive Proposed

by LonSeidman

Below is the text for the Tax Abatement Ordinance. A previous draft was introduced at the Town Council’s September 1st meeting. This proposed ordinance will be submitted to the Council at its September 15th meeting. If favorable, the Town Council may schedule a Public Hearing on the Ordinance before its next meeting on October 6th. The ordinance does the following:

1. Improves upon a policy established in Wolcott in 2000 which has been suspended
2. Encourages new businesses to phase-in their tax obligations after the approval, construction and occupancy of new investments in Wolcott
3. Requires that businesses requesting an abatement bring new jobs to Wolcott
4. Requires that the abatement be applicable to structures ON the land, and not on the land itself
5. Establishes a Tax Incentive Committee which will review applications and has authority for setting recomendations for abatement

Below is the text of the proposed ordinance:

Town of Wolcott
Business Incentive Tax Abatement Ordinance

Purpose:
The purpose of the tax incentive program is to attract new firms to the Town of Wolcott and to promote expansion of existing businesses and industry. It is the intent of the Town to provide and create jobs for local and area residents; to create long-term tax base growth through the replacement, reconstruction, expansion and remodeling of existing business and industrial facilities, where appropriate and environmentally sound; to encourage the construction of new facilities, when necessary, and to create the potential for generating new demands for existing local businesses through a “spin off” effect of major employers’ business decisions. It is further the intent of the Town of Wolcott to encourage substantial investment in new equipment and other personal property subject to taxation within the Town.

Section 1 Repeal of Prior Policy
This ordinance once approved hereby repeals and supersedes any prior policy or motion previously enacted by the Town of Wolcott.

Section 2 Qualifying Businesses
The following types of businesses, consistent with Town Codes, shall receive priority consideration for development incentives:

1) Manufacturing firms as defined in the Economic Development and Manufacturing Assistance Act of 1990, as amended;

2) Facilities designed for the management and administrative support of business activity located elsewhere;

3) High technology firms;

4) Wholesale /distribution firms;

5) New retail businesses.

Notwithstanding the listing of the priority businesses, all companies shall meet the following standards:

6) Possession of a good, recent environmental “track record”; or, through relocation to an area with appropriate infrastructure, begins meeting its environmental responsibilities;

7) Construction cost of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) or more in new or rehabilitated facilities;

8) Creation of at least three (3) new permanent, full time jobs for new construction and/or remodeling and renovation of 5,000 square feet or less, in addition there must be at least one (1) new permanent, full time job for each additional 1,500 square feet; (Example: 6,500 sq. ft. = 4 new jobs, 8,000 sq. ft. = 5 new jobs, etc.)

9) Provision of a solid financial base and growth potential through the preparation of a business plan which demonstrates possessing the capital necessary for reasonable business growth;

10) The Applicant will be the sole occupant of the percent of the total square footage of the Improvement for which the abatement is requested for the full term of the abatement.

Section 3 General Requirements
Applicants for tax incentives under this program will be considered under the following circumstances:

1) The proposed project must be located in an appropriate zone as defined in the Town of Wolcott’s Zoning Regulations, subject to approval of the land use boards and commissions;

2) If the applicant is a tenant, the tax benefits must be reflected in the lease and the lease must be for at least the term of the tax abatement period. The lease must be on file in the Land Records of the Wolcott Town Clerk’s Office (CGS 12-64);

3) There is no delinquency in any taxes or service charges due the Town of Wolcott. The applicant must be in compliance with Town of Wolcott Ordinance #92;

4) The project should have a clear economic benefit to the Town of Wolcott as follows: The benefits derived to the Town shall exceed the total cost from the Town over the economic life of the investment or project, not to exceed seven (7) years.

Section 4 Local Employment considerations
To the extent feasible, the applicant shall commit to the utilization of Town based businesses and Town residents during both the construction and operation phases. The following guidelines are offered to assist in achieving these goals:

1) To the extent feasible, the applicant shall commit to hire Town residents for new positions created as a result of the development project;

2) Applicants shall estimate the number of anticipated new hires, the skills required and the timing of such new hires;

3) Applicants shall provide a copy of its affirmative action/hiring statement or plan.

Section 5 Application Procedure
All tax abatement requests shall be made in writing on a form prescribed by the Town of Wolcott. Two (2) copies of the application must be submitted simultaneously, one to the Mayor and the other to the Planning and Zoning office.

The application for tax abatement shall first be referred to the Tax Incentive Committee. This committee shall consist of the following: Mayor or their his/her designee; Member of the Development and Industrial Commission; Representative of the Planning and Zoning Commission; Assessor; Tax Collector; Town Council liaison (non-voting member of the committee).

Said committee shall review the application to determine if the application conforms to and complies with the Town’s requirements. Each completed application shall be considered on an individual basis. Within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the application, the committee shall forward a recommendation to the Town Council. The Committee may recommend alterations or waiving any requirements contained herein, but the Town Council shall not waive or alter such requirements without said recommendation from the Committee.

Section 6 Tax Abatement Agreement
Pursuant to section 12-65b of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended, the Town may enter into a written agreement with the owner or lessee of real property, fixing the assessment of the real property and all improvements thereon or therein to be constructed. Within the parameters of section 12-65(b) of the Connecticut General Statues, as amended, a business may be granted partial exemption from real property taxation for a term of years which may vary in accordance with the scale and/or economic impact of the new development.

The fixed assessment period shall commence with the first fiscal year of the Town of Wolcott for which a tax list is prepared on October 1st immediately following the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy for any construction. The assessment of the real property for the period prior to the affixed assessment period shall be determined in the normal course pursuant to state and local laws and ordinances.

A business which has been granted a tax abatement will report to the Tax Incentive Committee and the Town Council annually on or by April 30th on a form prescribed by the Town of Wolcott to ensure that they are in compliance with the terms of the Tax Abatement Agreement.

Pursuant to the Manufacturers Assistance Act, the Town will assist all qualified businesses to obtain tax relief from the State on equipment or personal property used in manufacturing as defined in section 12-65h of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended. Machinery and equipment must qualify for five or seven year depreciation for federal tax purposes. New tangible personal property acquired by lease or purchase must be used predominantly in the manufacture of production of goods, research or development design and engineering of manufactured products.

Section 7 Tax Abatement Tables
Within the parameters of C.G.S. Section 12-65b, as amended, a business will be granted partial exemption from real estate taxation on improvements for a term of years which will vary in accordance with the scale of development. The number of years of partial exemption will be determined in accordance with Table A. The percentage of partial exemption for each fiscal year following the Certificate of Occupancy for the new improvement will be determined in accordance with Table B.

Table A
Number of Years of Partial Tax Abatement based on the Value of Real Estate Improvements
# of Years Value of Improvements
3 $100,000 – $2,999,999
5 $3,000,000 – $5,999,999
6 $6,000,000 – $9,999,999
7 $10,000,000 & over

Table B
Value of Improvements Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Year 7

$100,000 – $999,999 50% 30% 10% None None None None
$1,000,000 – $1,999,999 50% 35% 20% None None None None
$2,000,000 – $2,999,999 50% 40% 25% None None None None
$3,000,000 – $5,999,999 70% 60% 45% 30% 15% None None
$6,000,000 – 9,999,999 80% 70% 60% 45% 30% 15% None
$10,000,000 and over 90% 80% 70% 60% 45% 30% 15%

Section 8 Agreement Termination

All agreements shall contain a provision that any business granted tax incentive abatement shall repay the Town the dollar amount of any incentive contained in such agreement if such business does not meet obligations contained in such agreement.

Any agreement entered into pursuant to this program shall not be subject to assignment, transfer or sale. In the event that any such property whose Owner or Lessee is entered into an agreement with the Town of Wolcott is assigned, transferred or sold, then and in that event, the agreement shall terminate as of the effective date of said assignment, transfer, or sale, and the full amount of the tax that would otherwise be due to the Town of Wolcott shall immediately become due and payable.

Section 9 Construction Schedule
After approval of any application by the Town Council, construction shall commence within six (6) months and shall be completed and a Certificate of Occupancy issued within twenty-four (24) months. Any extension from this requirement must be approved by the Tax Incentive Committee and the Wolcott Town Council.

Section 10 Town Council Authority
Any and all decisions to grant an incentive, pursuant to the terms of this ordinance, shall be within the sole and absolute discretion of the Town Council of the Town of Wolcott.
The Wolcott Town Council is not required by this program to grant tax abatement. Each applicant will be considered on an individual basis.

Section 11 Invalidation
In the event any section or provision of this ordinance shall be declared invalid for any reason whatsoever, it shall not affect the other sections or provisions hereof.