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Mon September 24, 2012
CCM Highlights the Property Tax
An advocacy organization that represents towns and cities across the state is calling on the state to give more money to municipalities. The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities issued a campaign bulletin intended for candidates this fall. It makes one clear, if not new, point: Connecticut relies too heavily on the property tax. Jim Finley is CCM's executive director. "It's the most regressive tax in our state/local tax system. It's income blind. It doesn't matter whether you have a job or not, your property tax is due. If you're a business, it doesn't matter whether you're turning a profit or not. That property tax bill is due." Finley says the property tax hamstrings his member municipalities. "Towns and cities across Connecticut, from our big cities to our smallest towns, are really facing a property tax choke hold right now." Finley isn't advocating that the state blow up the property tax system. Instead, his organization is proposing that the state funnel more money to towns and cities -- and thereby reduce the relative burden of the property tax. Those recommendations include things like reforming how we pay for education, increasing state tax revenue sharing, and fully funding what's called PILOT money -- payments in lieu of taxes. Those are payments to places like the city of Hartford -- where a high proportion of its property is owned by the state and is therefore not taxable. In a statement, the office of Governor Dannel Malloy says he agrees that property taxes are an issue for many state residents, and he says he's already begun increasing funding to municipalities.