Norwalk's Grand List Drops, CL&P Remains City's Biggest Taxpayer

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The owners of the Merritt 7 office complex held their spot as Norwalk's second-highest taxpayer in 2013, according to the Grand List.
The owners of the Merritt 7 office complex held their spot as Norwalk's second-highest taxpayer in 2013, according to the Grand List. Photo Credit: File

NORWALK, Conn. – Connecticut Light & Power and the Merritt 7 office park kept their spots as Norwalk’s top two taxpayers last year, according to the recently finalized 2013 Grand List.

The annual Grand List is a sum of all property values, including real estate, personal property and motor vehicles as of Oct. 1, which will be used to calculate tax bills in July. The 2013 Grand List is approximately $11.96 billion, or 7.39 percent than it was in 2012, according to Tax Assessor Paula Kyriakides.

“The good news is there’s been a slight shift in the tax burden from residential to the commercial side, and hopefully with the developments that are moving forward, we’ll see that continue to happen more frequently,” Mayor Harry Rilling said on the changes to the Grand List last month.

Along with the Grand List, Kyriakides’ office also published the annual list of the city’s Top 25 taxpayers. CL&P’s various properties around the city had a total combined value of more than $335.9 million, down slightly from the $337.6 million it was worth in the 2012 grand list.

Merritt 7, now worth $222.6 million, kept its second-place position and top value among real estate properties by adding nearly $5 million in value over the last year.

The reason for the dramatic changes in value was the city’s 2013 Property Revaluation, which adjusted property values across Norwalk to account for changes in market trends since the last revaluation in 2008. After the total value of all Norwalk real estate dropped by $993 million, according to the Grand List.

After the top two positions, the taxpayer rankings saw some minor changes. The GE Capital Building’s $69 million value moved it up one spot to No. 3, pushing the MetLife building to fourth. Diageo North America’s Main Avenue building stayed in its position at No. 5.

The Xerox building, Yankee Gas, Avalon Bay, Norwalk Center and Pepperidge Farm's headquarters rounded out the top 10, respectively.

A new development also debuted in the Top 25 this year. The Avalon East Norwalk apartment complex, which began renting in 2013, was valued at more than $39.4 million. The value was good enough to make it the 12th-largest taxpayer in Norwalk.

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Our biggest problem is the perceived NEED for the grand list to constantly go up. If we lived within our means it wouldn't. But we constantly cut things so close that we need more money each year. Given the reduction in property values most of us should have seen a REDUCTION in property tax. But we didn't & the re evaluation will fix things, not in taxpayer favor, but in favor of continued frivolous spending policies which constantly have us on the edge.
It does NOT need to be this way. I own property in another state and my taxes went down the equivalent of several thousand dollars when the real estate prices went down. And its a much smaller town. Something is wrong when a city of 90,000 needs to tax property owners more than a town of 1000. One hundred times the amount of people contributing should definitely reduce the individual burden. But unlike a smaller town Norwalk is burdened by a big chunk who pay nothing but are fed & housed with money extorted from the remainder.
The grand list would mean much less if we worked as hard at reducing the numbers of dead beats as we do at milking taxpayers. Setting a goal of reducing municipal housing units by 5% a year would be a very responsible thing for the city to undertake.