Easton’s grand list increased 0.38% in 2020. The net grand list as of Oct. 1, 2020 stands at $1,299,045,047, up $4,922,412 from $1,294,122,635 in 2019.
The grand list is a compilation of all taxable property in town as of Oct. 1, 2020. It is made up of real estate, motor vehicle, and personal property assessments.
The new list will be used for taxes for fiscal year 2020-21. As in prior years, Easton’s 10 top taxpayers are commercial and residential, with six of them residential.
“As always, the figures are subject to change as there are Board of Assessment appeals, add, deletes and pro-rates that are processed throughout the year,” said Rachel Maciulewski, assessor.
The 2021 Revaluation will take effect for the Oct. 1, 2021 Grand List in which taxes will be due in July 2022 and January 2023.
All told, real estate values rose 0.20%, motor vehicle increased 3.26% and personal property declined by -0.90%.
Real estate rose $2,386,090.00, from $1,195,140,960 in 2019 to $1,197,527,050 in 2020. Personal property dropped $168,782.00, from $18,831,890 in 2019 to $18,663,108 in 2020. Motor vehicles rose $2,705,104.00, from $80,149,785 in 2019 to $82,854,889 in 2020.
“There was a decline in the personal property this year because we had a company with a large personal property assessment sold and moved the equipment out of town,” said Maciulewski. “I also discovered a company was declaring property that is actually located in another town, so that had to be removed and sent to the correct town.”
The annual mill (or tax) rate is determined after the fiscal year’s budget is completed and all known revenue sources are projected, with the exception of tax revenue. The town then determines the value of a mill, which is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of assessed value on the grand list. The mill rate is derived by diving the town’s grand levy (its debt) by the town’s grand list.
Any increase in town spending overall will be reflected as a proportionate increase in taxes. Just how much the grand list will affect taxes won’t be known until the mill rate is set following approval of the budget by taxpayers at the budget referendum.
There are 2,684 residential accounts. “The actual number of dwellings is a little higher as some of those parcels have multiple dwellings on the property,” said Maciulewski. “Every year that number goes up as new houses are built.”
There are 30 commercial accounts which includes churches and town buildings such as schools, libraries, and the Town Hall. “All these accounts are not taxable,” said Maciulewski.
The rest of the town is made up of vacant land categorized under residential house lots, residential excess acreage or vacant land classification. Parcels can be compromised of a variety of classifications.
“For example, 65 Adams Road is residential, commercial, industrial and farm, all in one parcel,” said Maciulewski.
The town also currently has 7,449 acres designated as farm, forest status, and open space under Public Act 490, Connecticut’s law that allows farm, forest, or open space land to be assessed at its use value rather than its fair market or highest and best use value. This acreage overlaps into the residential and vacant parcels. The acreage changes as new farmers apply for the designation and farmland is expanded.
In 2020, the Department of Motor Vehicles reported that Eastonites have 7,090 motor vehicle accounts.
“This number is constantly fluctuating as vehicles are purchased and disposed of, moved in and out of town, registrations lapse, and we manually add the vehicle when we discover it is or was still in town as of the grand list date,” said Maciulewski.
Motor vehicle assessments are based on 70% of average retail value. Pricing guides provided by the National Automobile Dealers Association are used to determine the value. The Office of Policy Management recommends the use of these guides.
There are 448 personal property accounts. Personal property includes commercial and industrial furniture, fixtures and machinery. These assessments are generally based on 70% of depreciated acquisition costs.
Top 10 Taxpayers
The top taxpayer is Aquarion Water Co of Connecticut with real estate holdings of $33,463,780 and 81 accounts.
Next on the list is the Connecticut Golf Club, with a real estate assessment of $4,639,100 with six accounts.
They are followed by Aspetuck Land Trust Inc, with a real estate assessment of $1,761,050 and two accounts: Trustee of Michael Chapman, $1,613,010, one account, and Ira Millman, a residential property owner, $1,503,810, two accounts.
The remaining five of the top 10 list are all residential property owners, some of whom own multiple houses or lots. They are Rosemary Weaver, $1,142,130, two accounts; Vincenzo Toscano, $1,391,250, three accounts; Montforte Holding LLC, $1,379,730, three accounts; Daniel and Krystyna Leszczynski, $1,190,480, two accounts and Joseph D and Marianne F Deforte, $1,170,000, one account.