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Norwalk’s tax collection goes beyond COVID-adjusted expectations; bills out now

Norwalk tax collectors accept payments from taxpayers Wednesday afternoon. People like to pay their bill early so they can go on vacation in July and not worry about it, Tax Collector Lisa Biagiarelli said.

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk’s tax collections remain at higher-than-expected levels, Lisa Biagiarelli said. Her department began mailing bills to Norwalk taxpayers June 21: citizens lined up Wednesday to pay their bills on the last day of the fiscal year, so Biagiarelli’s figures, based on collections through May, could see further good news.

“We already achieved the budgeted rate,” she said June 10. As of the end of May, “we had collected in excess of $347 million, or 98.85% of our now $351 million adjusted current tax levy on the 2019 grand list,” and “we also collected more than $16.5 million of our sewer use levy, or 98.25%. We also collected 87.91% of the year’s IPP (Industrial Pretreatment Program) fee on behalf of the Water Pollution Control Authority.”

The budgeted collection goal was 98%.

“I believe we’re in a very good position,” she said, June 10. “… It’s in alignment with what the CFO and the budget director were anticipating. They budgeted very conservatively, because at the time that you set these, these rates and the projections, we really didn’t know how we would be affected by COVID. That was in the very early stages of the pandemic. But we were able to maintain the rate, which I think, you know, was obviously a positive for the city.”

You have until Monday, Aug. 2, to pay your property tax bills for real estate, motor vehicle, and business personal property taxes, and sewer use charges, without interest penalty.  These bills are due today, July 1, and reflect the first installment of charges due on the grand list of Oct. 1, 2020.

“If we’re able to get the bills out earlier it gives people time to budget and plan,” she told Common Council members June 10.

The Tax Collector’s Office on the first floor of City Hall is open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and bills can be paid by check, money order, cash, credit card, debit card, or ATM card. Taxpayers can also pay taxes in person at one of 10 Norwalk bank branch locations of Bankwell, M & T Bank, Fairfield County Bank, Patriot National Bank, Webster Bank and Norwalk Bank and Trust, provided they make the Aug. 2 deadline. There’s no charge and you don’t have to be a bank customer, just remember to bring your bill.

There are also electronic options and you could of course choose to mail a check. More details are available on the City’s website.

Biagiarelli issued one caveat.

“The only thing that worries me about the coming year is the fact that we do have that three-year motor vehicle registration cycle now. And I do anticipate that we’re going to see some kind of a dip in motor vehicle collections, because many taxpayers do not pay their vehicle taxes until they need to register a vehicle. So they will now have three years instead of every two years before we are able to compel them to pay because they need to register a car,” Biagiarelli told Council members June 10.

“The good news is that our motor vehicle levy is not that big of a portion of our overall levy,” she said. “But I do anticipate some issues with that. A lot could happen in the year people move, things like that.”

The taxpayer’s view of the Tax Collector’s office.

Comments

2 responses to “Norwalk’s tax collection goes beyond COVID-adjusted expectations; bills out now”

  1. Bryan Meek

    I know it doesn’t fit the narrative of this and the article above it, but maybe they are saving their money for the $40,000 per taxpayer liability from the CV19 deficit spending at the federal level that is trickling its way down to us a percent here and a percent there? And also holding onto their wallets for when the federal printing presses stop and we get to figure out how to pay for all these new, wonderful programs we never needed.

  2. Barbara Meyer-Mitchell

    Great work, Lisa!

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