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Retail Developments Offset BluLinx Vacancy To Boost Grand List



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Retail Developments Offset BluLinx Vacancy To Boost Grand List

By John Voket

While Newtown’s Grand List could have taken a debilitating hit after the BluLinx industrial facility was closed and razed on South Main Street last year, Assessor Chris Kelsey said new retail development on the busy Route 25 corridor offset that loss and then some. The local official posted the 2011 Grand List — detailing revenue gained from all Newtown’s taxable property — January 31, showing a modest increase of 0.07 percent.

“We lost BluLinx, but it looks like the opening of the Walgreens and Plaza South offset that,” Mr Kelsey said, referring to the national drugstore chain that opened last summer at the corner of South Main Street and Mile Hill Road, and a new retail plaza about 1.5 miles south on Route 25 with tenants including a new bank, preschool, bakery, Zumba studio, liquor store, and several restaurants.

After exemptions, the Grand List shows 11,929 pieces of taxable real estate generating a net assessed value of more than $3.6 billion. Net personal property assessments in the same report topped $92 million, while motor vehicle assessments stood at nearly $226 million.

Newtown’s final taxable assets for 2011 according to the report, equal $3,952,623,101.

As evidence of residential and rural taxable properties dominance versus commercial developments in town, the 2011 Grand List shows 9,611 homes and 948 parcels of vacant land were assessed, while only 206 commercial and 43 industrial parcels contributed to the overall taxable revenue.

Regarding motor vehicles, the Grand List shows assessments on 18,951 passenger vehicles, 541 commercial vehicles, 2,767 combination vehicle, 52 farm vehicles and 3,871 others — trailers, campers, antique, and other specialty vehicles showing up on state registration records.

Personal property assessments included 82 horses and ponies residing in the town — generating a net assessment of $118,450. Personal property that included cable and conduit generated the largest assessments in 2011 with $42,767,690, followed by furniture, fixtures, and equipment, which brought an assessment of $22.6 million.

The largest personal property exemptions granted in town, $14 million, are for manufacturing equipment. Veterans exemptions for real estate and motor vehicles stand at just over $9 million, while other individual exemptions for real estate and motor vehicles top $5.2 million.

Economic development incentives in town created an additional $1.25 million in exemptions. Mr Kelsey said that the amount of tax revenue that will be generated from the latest grand list will be calculated once the town sets its mil rate, which occurs after each year’s municipal budget is approved by taxpayers.

Finance Director Robert Tait said the number posted by the assessor corresponds almost exactly to the amount he included as taxable Grand List revenue in the 2012-13 budget proposal, which will be taken up by the Board of Finance beginning next week.

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