By SHERIDAN ROY
Southington officials announced a $59,573,478, or 1.49 percent growth in the 2018 grand list, for a total of $4,068,514,513 in taxable property. That growth is good news as Southington begins it budget season.
“Southington is experiencing a significant expansion in commercial and industrial development,” wrote director of assessment and revenue Teresa Babon in the grand list release. “Although expected to be less significant, the effects of this growth will continue to be experienced over the next few years.”
The grand list measures taxable value of three categories: real estate, motor vehicles and personal property. Property is assessed in October, and typically released in late January of the next year.
From the 2017 grand list to 2018, real estate went up by $34.3 million (1.01 percent). Babon said in the release that a portion of the increase can be directly attributed to new home construction and newly created subdivisions throughout the town.
“More than 31 new residential parcels have been started or completed during the past year,” she said.
Some of the notable increases in commercial assessed value came from: Courtyard by Marriott on West Street ($4.4 million), Hartford Healthcare Medical on Queen Street ($1.4 million), Southington Business Park II on Aircraft Road ($1.05 million), and two new Dollar General stores on West Street and Meriden Waterbury Road ($1.1 million).
Babon added other significant commercial projects remain in the pipeline that will show more growth in the 2019 grand list.
Personal property went up by $18.7 million, or 7.96 percent from 2017 to 2018. Assessed values of business personal property are determined from the business personal property declarations that are filed annually by the 2,100 businesses located in Southington. Business property is assessed annually at market value and includes computers, furniture, fixtures and equipment.
Personal property value is determined by applying depreciation to the original cost on an annual basis, or in other words, “as a business item remains in place and ages, its value decreases,” said Babon.
For the 2018 grand list, an increase of $6.9 million was a result of additional assets declared by Aldi, Inc., Black & Decker, Inc., Brunalli Construction Co., Inc., Supreme Forest products, Inc., A Duie Pyle, Inc., and Yarde Metals, Inc. The release also mentions new establishments including Chipotle Mexican Grill of Colorado, Southington Orthodontics, Mission BBQ, Roche Diagnostics Corporation, Chick Fil-A, HHC GoHealth Urgent Care, and Popeye’s Louisiana Chicken.
The top 10 taxpayers saw minor changes. Yarde Metals and Yankee Gas Services swapped places: this year, Yarde Metals is the second top taxpayer in town. The only other change is No. 10. Last year, it was Twinco Corporation (BJs) and this year it is Briad Lodging Group (Homewood Suits).
Motor vehicles saw an increase of $6.5 million, or 1.8 percent from last year. Approximately 78 percent of the motor vehicle grand list is made up of vehicles associated with private, personal use such as passenger cars, campers and motorcycles. However, four companies (A Duie Pyle, F&F Concrete, Mohawk Northeast and Superior Inc.) account for a total assessed value of nearly $7 million.
“When considering the drop off of approximately 1.5 percent or almost $6 million in assessment on last year’s grand list, this year’s gain of over $6.5 million in assessed value is noteworthy,” wrote Babon. “Happily, there did not appear to be any pricing or town allocation errors on the motor vehicle grand list this year.”
Town Council chair Chris Palmieri (D) and Town Manager Mark Sciota released a joint statement regarding the increase to the grand list.
“This increase will result in an additional $1.8 million in tax revenue,” they said in a release. “We would like to thank Teresa Babon, director of assessment and revenue and the entire department for their hard work in completing the grand list. We would also like to thank the town’s development team headed by Rob Phillips, planning and community development director and Lou Perillo III, economic development coordinator.”
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Roy, email her at SRoy@SouthingtonObserver.com.