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Norwalk adds $361.1 million to Grand List

The development at 10 Willard Road has added $12 million to the Grand List, Tax Assessor William Ford said.

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk’s Grand List is up $361.1 million, a 2.45% increase over the total reported last year.

Tax Assessor William Ford pegs the 2021 Grand List total net assessment at $15,108,214,790 versus $14,747,104,349 in 2020.

Some recent history:

  • 2021 Grand List: $15,108,214,790, 2.45% increase
  • 2020 Grand List: $14,972,207,943, a 1.65% increase
  • 2019 Grand List: $14,728,523,380, a 2.51% increase
  • 2018 Grand List: $14,368,125,568, a 16.5% increase, due to the property revaluation
  • 2017 Grand List: $12,332,806,676, a .92% increase
  • 2016 Grand List: $12,220,457,278, a 1.1% increase

 

The 2.45% increase this year compares to the 4.2% budget increase authorized by the Council.

Last year, Norwalk Chief Financial Officer Henry Dachowitz said, “The problem is, I just don’t see the Grand List going up as fast as our expenses are going up.” The Common Council then approved 1% appropriations cap increase, using federal COVID-19 relief as a means to keep the tax increase lower than it might otherwise be. just before the official Grand List was submitted to the State, showing a 1.65% increase.

Ford’s 2021 Grand List is subject to change as the Board of Assessment Appeals (BAA) works through abatement applications, he said. There are also “Certificates of Change (for instance sold vehicles) and any changes from the filing of exemptions prior to tax billing.”

In addition to BAA appeals, there are appeals working their way through the court system.

The 2018 re-evaluation yielded a “significant number” of appeals, Corporation Counsel Mario Coppola said recently to the Board of Estimate and Taxation.

“I think Norwalk had … definitely one of the highest number of appeals of substantial commercial properties of any other municipality, probably in the state of Connecticut, for that 2018 revaluation. A lot of the cases are significant in number, 10s of millions of dollars. One that I had a hearing on today was a total of $580 million.”

That was for The SoNo Collection, which may be the biggest property tax assessment appeal pending in Connecticut, Coppola said. Court documents show that Brookfield Properties, under Norwalk Land Development LLC, appealed the mall’s valuation in June 2020. A pre-trial conference is scheduled for Friday.

The City has worked its way through many of the appeals but “what’s left are a lot of the heavy, the big, cases that for a lot of reasons haven’t been able to be resolved,” Coppola said.

The Board of Assessment Appeal filing period ends Friday, March 18.  The filing deadline for exemptions is May 14. A list of those applying for abatement is not available until after the deadline, Ford said. “The majority of properties that file are commercial and the attorneys do not file until almost the deadline.”

Ford provided these figures:

Grand List 2021 (Gross Assessment)

  • Real estate $13,366,244,247
  • Personal property $1,102,262,302
  • Motor vehicle $927,572,341

Grand List 2021 (Net Assessment)

  • Real estate $13,102,540,201
  • Personal property $1,093,919,910
  • Motor vehicle $911,754,679

 

“Motor vehicles saw the most significant increase in value, with the Net Assessed value increasing from $711,261,387 to $911,754,679, an increase of 28.2%,” Ford wrote. “Statewide the median increase was approximately 26.4%, as developed by the Connecticut Association of Assessing Officers (CAAO). The State of Connecticut requires municipalities to use the Average Retail Value as published in the NADA Guide to value motor vehicles.”

Ford provided this top 10 list of property value changes:

1. 10 Willard Road, assessment up $12 million

  • 2021 Appraisal $29,920,000
  • 2021 Assessment $20,944,000
  • 2020 Appraisal $8,945,960
  • 2020 Assessment $6,262,172

 

2. 300 Glover Ave., assessment up $9 million

  • 2021 Appraisal $34,884,500
  • 2021 Assessment $24,419,150
  • 2020 Appraisal $22,058,265
  • 2020 Assessment $15,440,786

 

3. 230 East Ave., assessment up $7.1 million

  • 2021 Appraisal $39,800,840
  • 2021 Assessment $27,860,590
  • 2020 Appraisal $29,598,554
  • 2020 Assessment $20,718,992

 

4. 10 Norden Place, assessment up $4.4 million

  • 2021 Appraisal $58,963,971
  • 2021 Assessment $41,274,780
  • 2020 Appraisal $52,711,000
  • 2020 Assessment $36,897,700

 

5. 71 Connecticut Ave., assessment up $2.5 million

  • 2021 Appraisal $5,772,210
  • 2021 Assessment $4,040,500
  • 2020 Appraisal $2,167,710
  • 2020 Assessment $1,517,400

 

6. 44 Shorehaven Road, assessment up $1.7 million

  • 2021 Appraisal $2,816,180
  • 2021 Assessment $1,971,350
  • 2020 Appraisal $344,050
  • 2020 Assessment $240,850

 

7. 37 Meeker Court, assessment up $1 million

  • 2021 Appraisal $1,860,270
  • 2021 Assessment $1,302,190
  • 2020 Appraisal $413,520
  • 2020 Assessment $289,460

 

8. 20 Shorehaven Road, assessment up $929,610

  • 2021 Appraisal $4,653,500
  • 2021 Assessment $3,257,540
  • 2020 Appraisal $3,325,490
  • 2020 Assessment $2,327,930

 

9. 70 South Main St., assessment up $877,711

  • 2021 Appraisal $4,346,130
  • 2021 Assessment $3,042,291
  • 2020 Appraisal $3,092,250
  • 2020 Assessment $2,164,580

 

10. 70 Shorefront Park, assessment up $788,820

  • 2021 Appraisal $2,205,890
  • 2021 Assessment $1,544,180
  • 2020 Appraisal $1,078,970
  • 2020 Assessment $755,360

 

He added that the development on Argento Lane, off Aiken Street and across from the West Rocks Middle School soccer complex, has added $7,763,977 to the grand list over the last few years.

The 2021 Grand List was originally due Jan. 31 but Norwalk got a one-month extension, Ford said. It was filed Feb. 28, five days after the Common Council set a budget cap.

“The Curb,” a three-building complex on Glover Avenue. Building C at 300 Glover was planned for 294 apartments.

A Google view of 70 Shorefront Park.

The “Brim & Crown” at 230 East Ave. includes 189 apartments and commercial space.

The construction at 71-75 Connecticut Avenue, as seen Jan. 13 from the other side of Interstate 95. A second building is yet to be constructed. Apartments will be available for rental in April, owner Jason Enters said in January. (Harold F. Cobin)

7 comments

Piberman March 14, 2022 at 10:39 am

With the major hikes in cost of energy and basics such as food this year most City residents will likely see a significant increase in living expenses and reduction in their standard of living. But our misfortunes won’t influence City officials who always spend more year after year. After all the mantra of local government is always spending more to produce the same level of City services. They call it “progress”.

Sad part is we spend 70% of our public schools that year after after fail to graduate most grads who meet CT Education Dept guidelines for graduation. Nor do most school grads ever secure college degrees. These are huge handicaps for our kids. The contrast with our surrounding towns with their superb schools is astonishing.
No change will occur in our City’s deficient schools will occur until we elect BOE members willing to hold the school administrators to much higher standards. That we pay CT’s highest Supt salary – above $300k – for overseeing a failing public school system is a major Norwalk embarrassment. Reflected in the sharp difference in home values with surrounding towns whose residents take pride in their schools.

Also notable in the City’s Grand List notice is the absence of major new firms other than apartment buildings added to the list. Norwalk, for well known reasons, continues to fail to attract major new business bringing good jobs. We remain a transient commuter town now half renters with high property taxes funding a failing public school system. With few if any prospects for improvement. Sadly our shabby depressed Downtown reflects a City with limited prospects or self pride.

Piberman March 14, 2022 at 11:02 am

A few takeaways from the CT OMB 2019 Grand List (portal.ct.gov.). Latest available.

Greenwich takes 1st place with 33.4 billion. That’s twice the combined totals of our 3 largest impoverished cities with 15% of CT’s population: Bridgeport 6.5 bil.,New Haven 6.6 bil, Hartford 4.0 bil. With less than 1/5th the population of our 3 largest cities Greenwich has twice the assessed value. Awesome.

After Greenwich comes Stamford with 22.0 bil, then Norwalk with 14.7 bil.

Our 5 surrounding towns with their superb public school systems have comparable population with Norwalk but almost twice the combined Grand List. Figures are Westport 11.4 bil, Darien 8.6 bil.,New Canaan $7.7 bil, Wilton $4.2 bil., Weston $2.2 bil and Norwalk $14.7 bil.

Some of us old timers can remember when the Grand Lists between Norwalk and Stamford were similar. Then Stamford residents built a real Downtown and the rest is history – CT’s pre-eminent real City. With more office buildings than all of CT combined.

DryAsABone March 14, 2022 at 2:20 pm

Stamford is a disaster in the making. Emptycommerical real estate. Failing schools. Bloated government, feeding on the general public.
Be glad you are in Norwalk.

Former Norwalker March 14, 2022 at 3:34 pm

I wonder how much more $ is being spent on ESL in the schools. How does it compare to 5 years ago? Being a sanctuary city costs its residents plenty.

News Flash March 14, 2022 at 4:35 pm

Office workers are working from home and piberman wants more office buildings. Sounds a bit out of touch, don’t you think?

Ding dong March 15, 2022 at 1:35 am

As usual, the so called “evil multifamily projects” seem to be paying all if the tax increases over the previous property uses. All while paying exorbitant utility fees and adding less than 1% to the school population. Keep taxing these projects to death and they will not exist. Then the annual increased tax burden will fall entirely on the single family homes. Ooof.

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