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Value up: Bridgeport residents receiving revaluation results

Connecticut Post logo Connecticut Post 12/28/2020 By Brian Lockhart
a group of people standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: Residents from the Black Rock neighborhood came out en masse to protest a raise in property taxes, during the Bridgeport City Council's meeting at Bridgeport City Hall in Bridgeport, Conn. on Tuesday July 5, 2016. High profile residents including former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker and former mayoral candidate Mary-Jane Foster were on hand to protest the hike as well. © Provided by Connecticut Post

Residents from the Black Rock neighborhood came out en masse to protest a raise in property taxes, during the Bridgeport City Council's meeting at Bridgeport City Hall in Bridgeport, Conn. on Tuesday July 5, 2016. High profile residents including former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker and former mayoral candidate Mary-Jane Foster were on hand to protest the hike as well.

BRIDGEPORT — Homeowners are just learning whether their property values have risen but will have to wait several months before they see how that impacts their tax bills.

Bridgeport recently concluded its five-year real estate revaluation and the private firm hired for the job, Municipal Valuation Services LLC, is mailing out the individual results.

“The value of most properties in Bridgeport have increased in financial worth since 2015,” Finance Director Kenneth Flatto wrote residents in a letter mailed last week and also available online. “This is good news for you as a property owner, and good news for enhancing the value of homes and commercial properties in our city.”

a man standing in front of a crowd: Residents from the Black Rock neighborhood came out en masse to protest a raise in property taxes, during the Bridgeport City Council's meeting at Bridgeport City Hall in Bridgeport, Conn. on Tuesday July 5, 2016. High profile residents including former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker and former mayoral candidate Mary-Jane Foster were on hand to protest the hike as well. © Provided by Connecticut Post

Residents from the Black Rock neighborhood came out en masse to protest a raise in property taxes, during the Bridgeport City Council's meeting at Bridgeport City Hall in Bridgeport, Conn. on Tuesday July 5, 2016. High profile residents including former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker and former mayoral candidate Mary-Jane Foster were on hand to protest the hike as well.

And not necessarily surprising. As CNBC reported in mid-November, there has been a surge of home sales around the nation, including in the Bridgeport area, during the current novel coronavirus pandemic.

The big question is what the revaluation means for next July’s tax bills — information Flatto emphasized will not be available until a new mill or tax rate is set in the late spring after the mayor and City Council approve an annual budget.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Residents from the Black Rock neighborhood came out en masse to protest a raise in property taxes, during the Bridgeport City Council's meeting at Bridgeport City Hall in Bridgeport, Conn. on Tuesday July 5, 2016. High profile residents including former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker and former mayoral candidate Mary-Jane Foster were on hand to protest the hike as well. © Provided by Connecticut Post

Residents from the Black Rock neighborhood came out en masse to protest a raise in property taxes, during the Bridgeport City Council's meeting at Bridgeport City Hall in Bridgeport, Conn. on Tuesday July 5, 2016. High profile residents including former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker and former mayoral candidate Mary-Jane Foster were on hand to protest the hike as well.

Bridgeport’s current tax rate is one of Connecticut’s highest at 53.99 mills.

The prior revaluation occurred during the 2015 election year when then-mayoral-candidate Joe Ganim pledged to hold the line on taxes. His administration and the Council hiked the tax rate in early 2016 from 42.1 mills to 54.37 mills and blamed it on the revaluation.

Some neighborhoods, like the Black Rock area, saw sharp property tax hikes resulting in hundreds of angry residents confronting Ganim and council members that July over their bills.

But while the results of the prior revaluation resulted in a mill rate increase, Flatto in his letter from last week suggested, though without offering details to support his reasoning, that this time the opposite will occur.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Residents from the Black Rock neighborhood came out en masse to protest a raise in property taxes, during the Bridgeport City Council's meeting at Bridgeport City Hall in Bridgeport, Conn. on Tuesday July 5, 2016. High profile residents including former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker and former mayoral candidate Mary-Jane Foster were on hand to protest the hike as well. © Provided by Connecticut Post

Residents from the Black Rock neighborhood came out en masse to protest a raise in property taxes, during the Bridgeport City Council's meeting at Bridgeport City Hall in Bridgeport, Conn. on Tuesday July 5, 2016. High profile residents including former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker and former mayoral candidate Mary-Jane Foster were on hand to protest the hike as well.

Still, he did not promise an across-the-board tax decrease. He said many property owners’ taxes will “remain flat and stable” with some experiencing increases or decreases, but again offered no specifics.

Flatto also wrote: “Please know that if, for example, your home value increased by 30 percent it will not translate that your property taxes will increase (by) 30 percent.”

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