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Lisowski: 17% Drop in Grand List Assessment

The drop is due to real estate revaluation.

Because of last year's real estate revaluation, Wilton's tax base will be noticeably smaller this year.

Town Assessor David Lisowski addressed the Board of Selectmen Monday night, after he filed the grand list—the sum of the taxable property in town—on Thursday. The final numbers of that list were not yet available. 

"Overall, we've seen a drop in assessment of 17 percent," Lisowski said.

Property prices on last year's grand list reflected 2007 real estate values. By law, the town must revalue properties, Lisowski said. The newest version of the grand list will reflect 2012 property values. 

Selectman Richard Dubow said it was important to remind residents the drop in the grand list doesn't mean taxes are going up by a matching percentage.

"That doesn’t mean that taxes are going up 17 percent," he said. "Assessment is a way of distributing the tax burden."

The silver lining perhaps was a "considerable increase in business-personal property," Lisowski noted.

"I can attribute that, a good portion of that, to Bridgewater Associates moving in to 20 Westport Road," he said.

First Selectman William Brennan said the report didn't come as a surprise.

"It's reflective of what has happened to the market value," he said. "Commercial real estate is down, residential property is down a little more. It’s not really any great surprise."

Brennan said that 12 percent of the taxable properties in town are commercial, so while it's "not going to have a huge impact on it, it will help," as commercial properties haven't declined as much as residential properties have.

Cliff Cuming February 06, 2013 at 11:55 AM
Get ready neighbors...taxes on low to mid-level priced homes will increase more than others. All the more reason to require the school and town to stick to the 1.75% BOF guideline....and that guideline should remain in force for the for-seeable future until the excesses of the last dozen years are reversed.
RMA February 06, 2013 at 01:05 PM
I live in one of those low to mid-level houses and have gotten a pretty good deal on my taxes for the last decade. Three kids in quality schools. I don't mind paying a little more. Sure there is some waste but there will always be. It's time now for this town to put some real money into its school buildings. Miller Driscoll and the High school should both be replaced.
Wrong attitude February 06, 2013 at 01:43 PM
"Sure there is some waste but there will always be"...with an attitude like that it's no wonder that the residents of this town just keep voting for more and more taxes. If i told my boss that there will always be waste in my job rather than me continuously looking for ways to reduce wasteIi would be out of a job.
EMR February 06, 2013 at 03:43 PM
better not have your three kids say waste is okay when interviewing for a job.
MEG February 06, 2013 at 04:02 PM
RMA, Glad to hear that you"don't mind paying a little more" because with three kids in the system you are getting a free ride on the backs of your neighbors. You should be willing to pay a lot more to support your own kids. Put your money where your mouth is by writing a check to the town today.
Wilton Resident February 06, 2013 at 11:43 PM
We have one of the top schools in the nation and should be very proud of our town, our teachers and all of their accomplishments. I'm sure at one point you had kids go through the Wilton school system and reaped the benefits of such. When applying to colleges, graduating from WHS carries a lot of weight. Let's stay competitive and fiscally responsible!
MEG February 07, 2013 at 04:29 PM
Even on the Public school level, Wilton High is overrated. When compared to almost any private school ( e.g.. St. Luke's, Taft, Kent, Canterbury, Salisbury, etc.) it can't hold a candle. How could it when all public schools are run by government bureaucrats and political hacks?Graduates of a private school curriculum, free of politically correct thought and revisionism, carry much more weight with college admissions. " Let's stay competetive and fiscally responsible". Competetive with whom? Are you suggesting that we respond with more spending every time Ridgefield or New Canaan or Westport build new facilities or institute new programs? How about living within our means first.
Alethiologist February 07, 2013 at 05:37 PM
Wilton and other towns in comparable DRG's have good schools primarily because they have students with higher aspirational goals in life due to parental and family influence. Facilities and teachers certainly help but that is clearly not enough. Wilton grads going on to top schools probably stand out because of extra activities (music, sports, language, travel, etc leading to better scores) Trouble is, the teachers and admin claim all the credit and demand too much money in exchange.
Cliff Cuming February 07, 2013 at 06:04 PM
Statewide, average weekly earnings for all PRIVATE sector employees were up $3.87 or 0.4 percent compared to December 2011. Teachers want 4.9%? In addition, employment in CT fell by 45,500 jobs or 2.4%...none of which, I should add, affected PUBLIC SECTOR employees.
concerned citizen February 08, 2013 at 02:14 AM
It's called the Gary Richards plan. Get raises for the people who work for you, at the expense of the Wilton tax payors.

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