(October 18, 2013) Today, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra and City Council President Shawn T. Wooden announced the members of a newly formed task force, charged with examining and analyzing the City’s property tax structure to address historic inequalities. The task force held its first meeting to establish goals, nominate a chair, and identify areas of study. Their primary responsibility is to make recommendations for legislation to present to Hartford’s State Legislative delegation by February 1, 2014.
"This has been a long time coming," said Mayor Segarra, "We need feedback from everyone to find a solution that encourages business development without unfairly burdening taxpayers." Council President Wooden agreed, saying "This is an important step towards creating a tax structure that supports Hartford's long-term sustainability and economic growth."
Currently 51% of Hartford’s properties are tax-exempt, significantly impacting the City’s revenue. A different valuation for residences and businesses also creates an imbalanced assessment, negatively impacting business development.
“The work of the task force is an important first step toward accomplishing the critical goal of growing Hartford¹s grand list and driving economic growth in the city,” said Oz Griebel, CEO of MetroHartford Alliance.
The task force will be assisted by City Assessor John Phillip, and by the professors, staff, and students of the University of Connecticut (UConn) Charter Oak Sustainable Communities Initiative (COSCI), including the School of Social Work, the Law School, and other departments.
The task force consists of seven members; two chosen by Mayor Pedro E. Segarra, two chosen by Council President Shawn Wooden, one by Council Minority leader Larry Deutsch, one by Council Majority Leader Alex Aponte, and one by the MetroHartford Alliance. The full committee is as follows:
Denise Best, Community Leader from the Christian Activities Council, President of the Upper Albany NRZ
Rex Fowler- Executive Director of Hartford Community Loan Fund
Oz Griebel, CEO of MetroHartford Alliance
Matt O’Connor, American Federation of Teachers
Migdalia Rivera, Hartford Resident
Gordon Scott, Owner of Scott’s Jamaican Bakery
Timothy Sullivan, Managing Director and Senior Vice President of Wells Fargo Advisors
Gordon Scott, owner of Scott’s Jamaican Bakery was selected as the task force Chair. “As an owner of a family business for over 30 years in Hartford, I know the pressure the current tax structure can place on businesses. I’m happy that the City is addressing these issues and I look forward to being a part of the process.”
The task force will submit their recommendations to the Mayor and City Council by January 15, 2014 and will then help draft legislation to present to State legislators early next year.
For Immediate Release: October 18, 2013
Contact: Maribel La Luz
p. (860) 757-9731
c. (860) 539-5485