Grand list shows strong growth in Milford

The 2016 grand list showed an increase of 1.84% over the 2015 list, and city leaders say that’s a substantial growth, one that will help keep taxes stable in Milford.

The grand list is the total amount of assessed taxable property in the city.

Milford’s 2016 grand list is $6.5 billion. More specifically, it is $6,539,731,689, up from $6,421,530,954 in 2015 — which marks an increase of $118 million.

The grand list is broken down into taxable real estate, motor vehicles and personal property.

There is $5.8 billion in taxable real estate in the city, and that is up $102 million over the previous year. There is $387 million in motor vehicles, which is an increase of more than $10 million. Personal property is worth $339 million, and that figure increased nearly $5 million over the previous year, according to the city assessor.

The additional $118 million on the grand list could generate $3.4 million more in revenue for the city in the next budget, according to City Assessor Daniel Thomas.

There is still uncertainty as to whether the governor’s state budget will change Milford’s somewhat rosy budget projections for 2017-18, but for now, that extra grand list value is expected to keep taxes stable in the city. At this point in the city budget process, the city’s mill rate is expected to drop slightly, from 27.84 to 27.73. That is a .4% decline in the tax rate, which Mayor Ben Blake described as “essentially a flat budget.”

According to the mayor, most of the growth in the 2016 grand list, on which 2017-18 taxes will be based, is due to an 8% increase in values for both industrial and commercial properties. Those numbers increased because there are more commercial and industrial properties in the city, and the values of all the existing commercial and industrial properties went up due to revaluation.

Blake described it as “an explosion of new businesses moving into town” when he wrote his budget message for 2017-18.

“Our business development significantly outpaces all other Connecticut towns and our commercial spaces have an impressive 96% occupancy rate,” Blake wrote. “Over the past two years, we’ve inspired a 26% increase in new business growth above and beyond what Milford has ever experienced.”

“This is the strongest growth the city has experienced since 2008,” the city assessor added.

Thomas said 2008 and 2007 grand lists in Milford experienced similar growth, 2008 owing primarily to significant personal property growth, and 2007 owing primarily to the second-year phase-in of the 2006 revaluation assessments.