WESTPORT, Conn. – A rise in new constructions and commercial business in Westport last year helped increase the value of taxable property in town by more than 1 percent, Town Assessor Paul Friia announced Friday.
The town’s 2012 Grand List — the sum of the net assessed value of real estate, motor vehicles and personal property—totaled more than $9.804 billion. That’s an increase of approximately 1.5 percent from the 2011 Grand List total of $9.655 billion, Friia said.
An increase to the Grand List, Friia said, is good news for taxpayers because it expands the town’s tax base.
“Simply put, an increase in the Grand List has a positive effect on the mill rate [the town’s tax rate],” Friia told The Westport Daily Voice. “A larger Grand List means a lower increase to the mill rate.”
Increases in the Grand List were seen in the real estate and personal property categories. Specifically, a 1.4 percent jump in real estate assessment totals, Friia said, is the result of residential and commercial new construction and renovation projects last year. Real estate assessments make up more than 93 percent of the Grand List.
“[This increase] indicates the continued strength of the Westport market,” Friia said in Friday's announcement.
A continued growth in commercial business activity helped account for a 10 percent boost in personal property assessment totals, Friia said. Personal property makes up nearly 3 percent of the Grand List.
The motor vehicle assessment totals, which account for more than 3 percent of the Grand List, decreased by about 1.5 percent from 2011, Friia said. This decline, however, appears to be consistent with other towns in the state, he added.
The current Grand List totals in each category are as follows:
- Real Estate: $9,208,096,610
- Motor Vehicle: $311,509,693
- Personal Property: $285,092,387
- Grand List Total: $9,804,698,690
The above figures are subject to change pending the outcome of Board of Assessment Appeals hearings in March, Friia said.
The Grand List will be used in calculating the town's 2013-14 budget.