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Bridgeport Property Values Decline 19 Percent Since 2008

Bridgeport Financial Director Ken Flatto and Tax Assessor Elaine Carvalho
Bridgeport Financial Director Ken Flatto and Tax Assessor Elaine Carvalho Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — The city’s 2015 reassessment shows that real estate property assessments are down about 19 percent across the board from the last reassessment in 2008, Bridgeport Director of Finance Ken Flatto said Thursday.

Condo values are down more than 30 percent, single- and multi-family home assessments are down 19 percent and commercial real estate is down 5 percent to 15 percent, according to the preliminary reports.

“That’s not a big surprise,” Flatto said of the new preliminary numbers, which reflect the years-long recession.

Motor vehicle and personal property values are running steady.

Flatto and city Tax Assessor Elaine Carvalho held a press conference to give an idea of overall trends from the statistical reassessment required by the state.

“The mayor feels very strongly that this process should be as open as possible,” Flatto said.

They also reminded property owners who disagree with the assessments they received this month that the Board of Assessment Appeals will begin formal hearings in March. Applications are available at the city’s website or in the Tax Assessor’s Office.

New state legislation that caps the amount a municipality can tax for cars means motor vehicle taxes are likely to drop 20 percent in July, Flatto said. That said, the state will reimburse the city for the difference under the new law.

The tax change will not affect a car’s assessed value, just the amount the owner owes, he said.

The city delayed this statistical reassessment two years, and Carvalho said she believes it was a good idea. The nationwide recession meant property values fell sharply from 2008 through 2013.

“It was prudent,” she said, “because values have increased” in the last two years.

Kevin Comer, CEO of Vision Government Solutions, which is doing the reassessment, said about 1 percent of residents asked for informal hearings on the reassessments. Those hearings ended Thursday, and some assessments will be adjusted, while others will remain the same.

The 2015 reassessment, which will affect the 2016 budget, the grand list and the new mill rate, has entered its final phase. Final assessment notices will be sent to property owners in February.

“Since residential values have dropped somewhat more than most other classes of real estate, a majority of homeowners should not see a negative tax impact from reassessment, unlike what was feared a few years ago,” Flatto said in a fact sheet.

“However, some homeowners will see some negative tax impact from reassessment as their property values did not decrease as much as most residences around the city.”

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