NORWALK, Conn. – A proposal by Gov. Dannel Malloy to eliminate municipal property taxes on vehicles valued at less than $28,500 could have a chilling effect on Norwalk, according to Mayor Richard Moccia.
The mayor has not said he opposes the plan, which would give municipalities the option of implementing it in July before it would take effect statewide in 2014, but he said he was skeptical until he learns more about it. Malloy announced the proposal Wednesday.
“We need to get more details,” Moccia said in an email to The Norwalk Daily Voice on Thursday. “Suffice it to say that it would hurt the city, as this was not planned for. Unless he plans on replacing the revenues.”
Eliminating the tax on vehicles worth less than $28,500 could mean a combined loss in revenue for municipalities of more than half a billion dollars statewide, according to estimates.
Moccia said he did not yet know the exact amount in lost revenue Norwalk could face, but officials are studying it closely. By contrast, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton estimates that his city collects about $10 million annually from vehicle taxes, according to published reports. Boughton’s estimate was for all vehicle taxes, not just for vehicles valued at less than $28,500.
“We cannot give you an estimate at this time, as we are reviewing our numbers for anticipated revenues,” said Moccia. The mayor has not yet announced his proposed spending plan for the city, but all efforts are being made to either have no tax increase or a minimal one.
"Plus, we would have to break out all cars that meet the criteria to see what the dollar loss would be,” Moccia added.