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Some interesting tax revenue info from retailers in Manchester


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Okay, I"m sure this will set off a firestorm of anti box people but please understand I'm NOT trying to heat up a discussion...just share some infomation I came across - believe it or not on accident.

I've heard it said that the "burbs" invite the box retails for needed tax revenue and I really had no information to deny or confirm that.

I found the list of top 10 tax contributors in Manchester


It looks like 5 of the top 10 contributors are NOT retailers and an arguement could be made that two others are combination retail and warehouse (JC Penny regional catalog distribution center)

Now I'm not denying the mall and other retailers contribute a lot. They do. One would think our property tax would drop in kind - but instead we get new Taj Mahal fire stations and giant police/safety/community centers. :rolleyes:

I don't think any politician in this state met a tax they didn't like. <_<

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I mean, Bucklands is all over that list--so we don't count the mall? Ok, well w/ Wal-Mart where it is, I would imagine that if you look at the next ten you'll see the rest of the big boxes, and b/c they're listed individually, no single one will be on the top 10 list, but together, I'm sure they would.

That said, it's not so much that big-box are all evil. I shop at them, too. So do Europeans! It's just their unfettered prolifieration, and their capacity to wipe out more traditional "downtown" retail. In all honesty, it's the mall that I, personally, hate more than the big-box folks. The mall has individual shops that could comprise a shopping district. Evergreen is the right model, but the wrong location, as I see it. Anyway, my vision for Hartford isn't a big-box downtown, it's the shops you see in the mall, at street level, with condos and restaurants mixed in.

Pipe dream, I know ... so I think Hartford should try to work with the market as it exists. What don't the suburbs offer--the classic, upscale city locations. I really think their should be high-end national retailers mixed in w/ local boutiques. High end actually has done ok downtown: Stackpole, Tuesdays, the store next to Bin 228. Bring in Pink and Zara. And I don't care that there'll be a B&N in Blue Back ... Hartford needs a bookstore. The new model of bookstore/cafe would work well, I'm confident. And I even think an independent could survive, w/ the right business plan an knowledgable owners.

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CT Municipality Tax Rates Compared

The above link is to an OPM page which allows you to download an excel spreadsheet of (all?) CT's municipal tax rates, and you can sort by highest, and lowest.

Here are the highest mill rates:

Hartford 64.8200

Waterbury 55.4938

New Britain + Downtown 49.4800

New Haven + Whalley Avenue 49.3800

New Haven + Chapel West 47.3500

Manchester + Special 46.9000

New Haven + Downtown Green 46.7000

West Hartford 46.1900

New Britain 45.8800

New Haven 44.8500

Meriden Second 44.5100

East Hartford 43.6200

Bridgeport 42.2800

Meriden 42.2000

Andover 41.3000

Plymouth 41.3000

Manchester 40.1400

Thomaston 39.6200

I'm not at all surprised that Hartford, Waterbury, New Britain, and New Haven top the list but I am a little surprised by West Hartford and Manchester's spots. I would have thought that West Hartford's commercial and retail businesses, as well as higher overall real estate values, would have increased revenue to a point where rates would take them out of the top ten. And I thought that Manchester, at #19, had been successful at chasing the "ratables" they would need to reduce their overall tax rates.

What am I missing here?

I'm hesitant to post the lowest rates because I think in some cases the same location has more than 1 set of rates which apply, so the number would tell an incomplete story, but I will say that for point of comparison Westport, Darien, Essex, and Old Saybrook all have mill rates under 20. The lowest rates from our neck of the woods seem to be Somers (21), Windsor Locks (22), Ellington (24), and Avon at 24.85. Canton (the poster child for ratables-chasing against the will of the people) isn't doing too bad at 28.9.

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It's the same old song. Hey we got all this money, what are we going to do with it?

(The one lonley voice in the corner suggests:) "Give it back to the people in the form of lower tax rates" <_< Shut up.

Hey, I know lets build HUGE public works buildings and build new fire houses all over town that look better than the surrounding homes! How about a HUGE police "public safety center" too? I think there are some perfectly good roads we can rip up and repave too. (Tell everyone you don't have enough funding for the proposed sidewalk project when they ask.) YES! Free money for all (Public works)! Woohoo!

In short, they got the coffers full and pissed it away on bigger governement. It sucks, and I"m just one voice who doesn't have the power to vote these tax and spend idiots out of office alone.

$6400.00 taxes per year for a modest home (That has no public sewer or water, and no kids in the school system) and two normal vehicles is borderline criminal.

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Manchester does have high taxes, but provides way more services than many surrounding towns. That is the trade-off. If you would rather live somewhere with lower property taxes and fewer services... by all means. As I have said in the past, though, I do appreciate you and others who act as watchdogs over how local government uses revenue.
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