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Old Saybrook Property Revaluation Referendum (2009)

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The Old Saybrook Property Revaluation Referendum appeared on the July 9, 2009 ballot in Middlesex County,Connecticut, where it was defeated. The question voters faced was whether or not to delay the town's required property tax re-evaluation from 2008 to 2011. If the measure had passed, property tax rates would have remained at 2007 levels until the 2011 re-evaluation.[1]
  • Yes: 1,460 (58.5%) Approveda
  • No: 1,036 (41.5%)

Opposition

Old Saybrook First Selectman Michael Pace said that it would cost the town $600,000 in 2011 to do a full physical revaluation. Under the normal schedule, a new revaluation would not happen until 2013.[2] Town officials have also stated that the majority of residents would pay the same or less in taxes comparing the 2008 with the 2007 evaluations.[3]

Support

The newly formed Old Saybrook Taxpayers Association strongly urged residents to vote to delay revaluation, saying it would help save residents money in tough economic times by returning to the town’s 2007 property values.[1]

Chairwoman of the taxpayers association, Jean Thibault Castagno, and other residents argued that the revaluation needed to be postponed because many residents were frustrated with what they considered to be unfair property assessments.[3] Castagno also noted that the approximate $600,000 cost of physical revaluation will be spent whether it happens in 2011 or 2013.[2]

Letterhead controversy

An unsigned flier appeared in Old Saybrook on July 3, 2009 using the town website banner as letterhead, urging residents to vote at the referendum to delay the implementation of the 2008 revaluation.

First Selectman Michael Pace said he was worried that residents might think the flier had come from the town. He noted that it is illegal for the town to expend funds on swaying the election. Joan Andrews, an attorney with the State Elections Enforcement Commission, said it did not appear the flier violated election law, but it could violate other state laws.

The Old Saybrook Taxpayers Association also denied creating the flier, and noted that all communications from the group are signed.[2]

Referendum text

"Shall the Town of Old Saybrook delay its required real property re-evaluation for the 2009 assessment year until the 2011 assessment year, as allowed by substitute bill #997 of the January session of the Connecticut General assembly?"[4]

External links

References