As a citizen who appreciates the City of New Haven and wishes to see it reach its potential, I am calling on the Mayor and Board and Aldermen to implement a phase in of the increase in the 2011 personal real estate tax assessment.
Due to a number of extraordinary market forces, property values between the last revaluation and the current revaluation has shifted more than any time in history. Although some property owners will see a tax decrease from this change, many owners will see tax increases and many of those increases will be substantial.
Although some of the homeowners in the higher value neighborhoods can just write a bigger check, many cannot. Residents who are on fixed income or have a working class income (teachers, firefighters, non-profit workers…etc) will not be able to absorb this increase into their personal budgets and will be forced to sell and leave the neighborhood. Middle class families who are considering purchasing property in New Haven are reluctant to move in and be subject to an ever escalating tax structure.
As this dynamic continues to play out, we move towards a city comprised of two classes; 1) The very rich, who are willing to pay any amount to live where they wish and 2) The dependent class, that lives in the city in order to more easily avail themselves to the many services provided. Such a city, missing the working class, the middle class, and the young adults is not the type of city that I want New Haven to become.
Phasing in this unusually high increase would be a big step in slowing the division in class that would be a detriment to New Haven’s future.