The Town of Farmington Assessor has released the 2012 Grand List. The grand list, which is the assessed value of all real, personal and motor vehicle property in the Town as of October 1, 2012, totaled $3,476,175,110 after factoring out exemptions. This is a decrease of $271,620,793 or 7.25% from the 2011 grand list. The decline in the grand list was not unexpected since the Town undertook a revaluation of all real property during the past year while the housing market is still struggling to recover from the economic downturn in accordance with state statute. State statute requires municipalities to reassess all real estate within the Town limits every five years.
Breaking down the decrease, Real Estate declined by $268,978,233 or 8.04%. Of this amount, residential property values declined by 10.26% and commercial property values declined by only 1.7%. Personal Property, which is business equipment and machinery, declined by $2.7 million or 1.5%. This was primarily due to state-mandated tax exemptions on new machinery and equipment. Motor vehicle values experienced very slight growth of $115,520 or .05%.
The ratio of change between residential and commercial property means that the value of residential property as a percent of the grand list declined from 74% to 72% while the value of commercial property as a percent of the grand list grew to 28% from 26%.
The decrease in the grand list would require an additional 1.71 mills (7.81% increase) to be added to the current tax rate of 21.9 mills if used to fund the current Town/School Budget. However, although the tax rate would need to increase by 7.8%, any property that experienced a decrease in its assessed value greater than 7.8% would actually experience a tax decrease. Conversely, any property that experienced a decrease in its assessed value of less than 7.8% would have a tax increase.
The top ten taxpayers on the 2012 Grand list remained the same from the previous year. However there was some shifting of positions between various payers. West Farms Mall Associates continues to be the largest taxpayer with total property assessed at $122,853,690. The entire West Farms Complex, which includes West Farms Associates as well as several anchor stores and smaller stores, has an assessed value of $170,780,305. This represents 4.91% of the grand list.
Town Council Chairman Jeff Hogan stated that he was pleased that the commercial tax base remained strong and had less of a decrease in comparison to the residential property. Mr. Hogan further explained that the residential tax payer will not see a tax burden shift which usually occurs after a revaluation.
“In light of the uncertainty of revaluation the Town Council directed the Town Manager to limit the spending increase in next year’s budget with the interest of reducing the tax impact on Farmington property owners”. The Town Manager’s budget will be released late next week.
Submitted by the Town of Farmington.