Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
Vernon’s grand list growth thanks solely to revaluation phase-in

By Max Bakke
Journal Inquirer
Published: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 12:08 PM EST

VERNON — The final year of a three-year phase-in of the town’s 2006 revaluation swelled its 2008 grand list by 11.2 percent — up $191 million to $1.89 billion, Assessor David Wheeler said.

Despite the increase in growth due to revaluation, town wealth increased only slightly — about 0.4 percent, or $11.7 million — to $1.66 billion.

That growth is attributed to the opening of a few local businesses, including the Aldi supermarket on Hartford Turnpike and the addition of luxury apartments on Hockanum Boulevard to the grand list.

Real estate values make up about 88 percent of the town’s grand list.

The grand list represents the total amount of taxable property in town, including real estate, motor vehicles, and personal property as of Oct. 1, 2008.

The total grand list will be used to calculate tax bills for the fiscal year 2009-10, which starts July 1.

Personal property values, which make up about 4 percent of the grand list, rose 2.5 percent — or $1.7 million — over the 2007 list. Personal property nets nearly $73 million of the total grand list.

However, growth in real estate and personal property values was washed out by a decline in motor vehicle values, Wheeler said. That decline is due in part to people buying fewer larger cars and a depreciation of existing motor vehicles, he said.

Wheeler said the trends in the town’s growth were “a direct result of the sluggish economy.”

Motor vehicle values dropped $6 million, about 3.8 percent from 2007 figures. Net motor vehicle assessments amounted for $154 million of the total grand list.

The Town Council opted for a three-year phase-in of the revaluation in May 2007.

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