Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
Vernon Grand list has net 13% increase
Revaluation phase-in enters 2nd year

By Kym Soper
Journal Inquirer
March 27, 2008

VERNON — The grand list of taxable property grew by a net of 13.6 percent in 2007 — an increase of $202.8 million — as the town enters the second year of a three-year phase in for revaluation.
The grand list, released late last week, reflects values as of Oct. 1, 2007.

Property values rose significantly in 2006 after revaluation was completed, and that year’s grand list soared upwards of 41 percent as the tax burden shifted from commercial to residential property.

Revaluation is required every 10 years, and with the real estate boom a few years back, many in Vernon saw their homes increase in value by as much as 59 percent.

To ease the pain on taxpayers, the Town Council last year adopted a three-year phase-in for revaluation, splitting the increase by thirds. The grand list is at 67 percent of value now. By 2008 it will be up to 100 percent value as the last third is added back in.

For 2007, the total gross for taxable property in Vernon comes to $1.9 billion — an increase of $26.38 million or 1.4 percent over last year, which shows stable growth.

Of the total, real estate accounts for $1.66 billion, while personal property comes to $74.6 million and motor vehicles total $163.7 million.

But once reductions are made for exemptions and the second one-third of assessments for the phase-in, the net taxable grand list drops to $1.69 billion, reflecting a 13.6 percent increase over last year’s net of $1.49 billion.

Altogether, there is $14.74 million in new revenue as a result of the grand list phase-in of assessed values.

The list of top 10 taxpayers hasn’t changed much in the last year, except for the addition of landholders Boston Rockville/Boston Vernon.

According to town records, the firm owns various properties, including the office building at 281 Hartford Turnpike in the Kmart plaza, 36 undeveloped acres at 243 Talcottville Road, and the property being developed down the street at 380 Talcottville Road, as well as the Red Apple shopping center in Lafayette Square.

Meanwhile, the One Fifty Five West Main St. apartments fell off the top 10 list.

The Board of Assessment Appeals has received only 20 petitions this year, two of which were filed as court appeals and another that recently withdrew its complaint.

The grand list of taxable property still relies heavily on real estate, which contributes 86.3 percent, while motor vehicle values account for 9.47 percent and personal property 4.2 percent.

The top 10 taxpayers are:

• The Mansions LLC, which owns land and apartments, topped the grand list for the fifth straight year, with an assessment of $42.1 million.

• Javit Asset Partnership, operators of the Tri-City Plaza, $30.29 million.

• Connecticut Water Co., a utility, $20.33 million.

• Woodbrook LLC, apartments, $20.27 million.

• Connecticut Light & Power/Yankee Gas Co., utility, $16.9 million.

• CE Vernon II LLC, shopping center, $15.79 million.

• Chapman Acres, apartments, $9 million.

• Boston Vernon/Boston Rockville, shopping centers and land, $7.98 million.

• Kerensky, Schneider trustees, commercial/residential, $6.78 million.

• Talcottville Development, commercial, $6.08 million.

Together, the top 10 taxpayers account for over $175.6 million in assessments, or 10.37 percent of the grand list.