A budget that will be sent to the public for review would bring the tax rate to 45.26 mills, up from 33.55 mills.
The reason for the large increase is because of a state-mandated revaluation of property values completed last year that saw real estate property values drop 26 percent on average, with residential property dropping 29.1 percent on average. Because of the drop in property values, borough officials say the tax rate (or mill rate) needed to be increased to collect the amount of taxes necessary to run the borough.
The average house in Naugatuck was assessed last year at $171,000, according to the Naugatuck Assessor’s Office, which says the average house has now dropped to $120,000. In the current fiscal year, the average homeowner paid $5,737 in real estate property taxes based on the current tax rate of 33.55 mills. If the current proposed 2013-14 budget is adopted, the average homeowner would pay $5,431, or $306 less than the average homeowner paid this year.
The increased tax rate, however, means that in all likelihood, most people will see a significant increase in automobile taxes. Commercial property owners are also likely to see a significant tax increase as those values went down just 3.8 percent on average in the revaluation.
The tax rate of 45.26 mills is based on a combined town and school budget of $111.4 million, an increase of 3.54 percent, which was approved Monday night. The net increase in tax rate – what the increase would be had there not been a revaluation – is 1.29 mills.
The joint boards debated the budget for several hours Monday night hoping to get that number to a manageable level. The boards cut $830,268 from the municipal portion, bringing that to $51.82 million, up from $49.51, a 4.67 percent increase.
The joint boards did not cut anything from the proposed $59.58 million school budget, which represents a $1.5 million, or 2.58 percent, increase.
A significant cut made from the budget Monday night was the removal of a . That money was in the police department's budget.
A public hearing on the budget will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 13, at City Hill Middle School, 441 City Hill St. During that meeting, Naugatuck taxpayers can give their opinion about local spending to government officials. The boards will meet later that week to discuss the comments, possibly make changes based upon those comments and then set the budget and mill rate. Once that is set, the public has two weeks to petition to force a referendum or the budget goes into effect, per Borough Charter.
Editor's Note: Please note that not all residential property owners will see a real estate tax decrease. What I have posted in paragraph three looks at the averages per the assessor. Tax collector Jim Goggin notes that if your assessment went down more than 25 percent, you probably will pay less in real estate taxes. If it did not, you probably will pay as much or more as you did in the current fiscal year.