News and views about real estate in Greater Hartford
 

City of Hartford: Property Taxes

The City of Hartford has many similarities to other Connectcut Towns in how it calculates property taxes. But it also has some important differences.

First the similarities. Like many Towns and Cities, taxes are collected twice a year, due January 1st and July 1st. Each "Grand List" year begins on July 1st of the following calendar year, so Grand List 2012 went into effect on July 1, 2013. This also means that tax amounts change at the mid-point of each calendar year rather than the beginning. Most homeowners have their mortgage company escrow their property tax payments, so this calendar cycle usually only comes into play on motor vehicle taxes, which follow the same schedule.

Despite those similarities, property taxes are calculated differently in the City of Hartford than they are in all other Connecticut towns. Property taxes depend on legislation passed at the State level specifically for the City of Hartford. The primary goal of the special law is to protect homeowners by shifting a portion of the tax burden from residential property to other property classes, mainly the business community.

Recently, the legislation has been designed to coincide with revaluations. A version was passed in May 2006 in anticipation of Revaluation 2006, and an updated version was passed in June 2011 in anticipation of Revaluation 2011.

The chart to the right shows the recent tax rate history for the City of Hartford. The two most important numbers in calculating actual taxes are the assessment ratio and the mill rate. Hartford is unique in the State because the assessment ratio is not fixed at 70%, like it is everywhere else.

Taxes Owed = (Fair Value) x (Assessment Ratio) x (Mill Rate/1,000)

Fair Values are updated every 5 years, most recently in October 2011 as part of the 2011 revaluation. Information about assessments and tax bills for City properties is available at both the Assessor's Website, the Assessor's Database, and the Citizen Self Service Website.

Looking forward, the most recent bill passed by the State legislature protects homeowners without an expiration date. That said, the deal works to phase out the assessment ratio differences between property classes through two separate mechanisms. First, the average residential property tax increase as a result of the revaluation will be fixed at 3.5% for the five years. This portion of the legislation continues what has been in place since Grand List 2006, and will likely cause the residential assessment ratio to gradually increase. New this time around is a trigger related to the City's budget and the rate of inflation. The assessment ratio will be directly adjusted depending on whether the budget grows at a faster or slower rate than inflation. Please see the actual legislation for the specifics.

The history of Hartford's property tax system is long and complicated. It is too long, and too complicated, to explain in a single article. Below is a periodically updated list of articles that tell the Hartford Property Tax story over time.

Please send links to other interesting stories on this subject, and we will add them to the page. Thanks!

 
 
2015 Articles
The Fiscal 2016 Budget
July 28, 2015: Hartford Citizen, by Kyle Bergquist

Hartford Approves $533.8M Budget That Keeps Tax Rate Flat
May 27, 2015: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

Hartford Council Shuffles Money In Budget, Expects To Adopt Plan Next Week
May 20, 2015: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

Deal Reached Allowing City To Dip Into Hartford Schools Account
May 19, 2015: Hartford Courant, by Vanessa de la Torre and Jenna Carlesso

Hartford School Board Cancels Budget Vote In Funding Dispute
May 14, 2015: Hartford Courant, by Vanessa de la Torre and Jenna Carlesso

Hartford Mayor, School Officials Work To Resolve Funds Dispute
April 22, 2015: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

Hartford BOE Chairman, Mayor Battle Over Trust Fund Money
April 21, 2015: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso and Steven Goode

Overlapping Budgets
April 20, 2015: Hartford Citizen, by Kyle Bergquist

Segarra's $534M Budget: No Layoffs, No Tax Increase
April 19, 2015: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso and Steven Goode

Hartford Can't Borrow Its Way to a Balanced Budget
February 17, 2015: Hartford Citizen, by Kyle Bergquist

Fixing Hartford's Tax Problem
January 19, 2015: Hartford Business Journal, by Dave Panagore

 

2014 Articles
Hartford Adopts Budget With No Tax Hike
May 27, 2014: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

Segarra Reaches Budget Deal With Council; Pledges Financial Restructuring
May 21, 2014: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

Hartford Council Cuts Budget By $6.4M, Eliminates Tax Hike
May 20, 2014: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

Hartford Needs A Budget Shakeup
May 19, 2014: Hartford Courant, Editorial

Hartford, Suburbs Can't Each Go It Alone
May 19, 2014: Hartford Courant, Commentary by Lyle Wray

Hartford Council Says It Will Cut Mayor's Budget By $8M
May 15, 2014: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

Evaluation Of Hartford Parking Properties Falls Short Of Value In Mayor's Budget
May 14, 2014: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

Hartford School Board Adopts $423M Budget
May 6, 2014: Hartford Courant, by Vanessa De La Torre

Segarra Trims Tax Hike, Restores Police Officers To Budget
May 5, 2014: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

Proposed Tax Hike Worries Hartford Residents At Hearing
April 30, 2014: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

Hartford Nonprofits Should Pony Up
April 29, 2014: Hartford Courant, Letter to the Editor by Patricia Cohen

Mayor, Councilman Trade Barbs In Emails
April 22, 2014: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

Segarra's Budget Includes Job Eliminations, Tax Hike And $18 Million In Cuts
April 22, 2014: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

Hartford eyes new property tax fix
January 29, 2014: Hartford Business Journal, by Greg Bordonaro

 

2013 Articles
Time to grow Hartford's grand list
October 7, 2013: Hartford Business Journal, Commentary by Oz Griebel and Julio Concepcion

Hartford Council, Mayor Compromise On Budget; Pass $538M Spending Plan By Deadline
May 31, 2013: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

Lawyer Hired By Hartford Council Says Mayor Can't Reject Their Budget Cuts
May 30, 2013: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

Hartford Council Postpones Budget Vote; Hires Attorney To Clarify Mayor's Budgetary Power
May 28, 2013: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

Hartford Mayor Rejects Council's Budget Cuts
May 23, 2013: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

Segarra Warns Council Before Budget Cuts
May 21, 2013: Hartford Courant CityLine Blog, by Jenna Carlesso

Council Cuts $8.6 Million From Segarra's Proposed Budget
May 20, 2013: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

Hartford Council Delays Budget-Cutting Session
May 15, 2013: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

The Hartford Budget Takes Aim, But Misses the Biggest Targets
April 24, 2013: Raising Hale Blog, by Zach Albert

Hearing On Hartford Mayor's Proposed Budget Is Wednesday
April 18, 2013: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

Segarra pitches $543M Hartford budget, no tax hikes
April 15, 2013: Hartford Business Journal, Editorial

Hartford Must Stop Financial Foolishness
April 12, 2013: Hartford Courant, Editorial

Hartford Projects Huge Budget Deficits For Years To Come
March 4, 2013: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

Hartford Mayor, Facing Big Deficit, Asks Department Heads For 3 Different Budgets
February 25, 2013: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

Mayor Says Hartford Facing Budget Deficits This Year And Next
February 21, 2013: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

 

2012 Articles
City Council Amends Mayor's Proposed Budget
May 18, 2012: Hartford Courant, by Steven Goode

Hartford Mayor Proposes Budget Mitigation Plan
May 15, 2012: Hartford Courant, by Steven Goode

Hartford Looks To Spending Cuts To Close $8 Million Hole
May 10, 2012: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

Who Is To Blame For Hartford's $8 Million Hole?
May 10, 2012: WNPR, by Jeff Cohen

A Much Greater Problem For Hartford
May 10, 2012: We The People, by Kevin Brookman

Hartford Mayor Proposes $546.6 Million Budget
April 16, 2012: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

Many Commercial Property Owners In City Appealing Last Year's Revaluation
April 13, 2012: Hartford Courant, by Kenneth R. Gosselin

Budget Trends in the City of Hartford
April 12, 2012: Greater Hartford Real Estate Blog, by Kyle Bergquist

Hartford Council Considers Ways To Close $56M Projected Deficit
March 28, 2012: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

Hartford Budget Shortfall Will Mean Tax Hike, Layoffs
March 18, 2012: Hartford Courant, Commentary by Mike McGarry

City's Budget Shortfall Expected To Grow To $54M In 2012-13
February 8, 2012: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

 

2011 Articles
For Hartford's Commercial Landlords, A Long Awaited Tax Break In 2012
December 3, 2011: Hartford Courant, by Kenneth R. Gosselin

Mayor Announces Good News for Hartford Taxpayers
July 6, 2011: City of Hartford, Office of Mayor Pedro E. Segarra

Mayor Applauds Commitment to Tax Bill
June 9, 2011: City of Hartford, Office of Mayor Pedro E. Segarra

Connecticut State Legislature, File 903
June 4, 2011: Connecticut Legislature

Legislators Pass Hartford Property Tax Remedy | yourpublicmedia.org
June 3, 2011: WNPR, by Jeff Cohen

Bill Limiting Assessment Rate Increases in Hartford Clears State House Of Representatives - Courant.com
June 3, 2011: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

Property taxes dividing Hartford residents, business | Hartford Business
May 9, 2011: Hartford Business Journal, by Greg Bordonaro

Downtown discount | Hartford Business
February 7, 2011: Hartford Business Journal, by Greg Bordonaro

Hartford's Grand List: Hartford's Grand List Grows By 4 Percent - Courant.com
February 3, 2011: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

 

2010 Articles
City of Hartford Grand List 2006 Revaluation Description
June 30, 2010: Hartford Assessor's Office, Updated for Grand List 2009 (July 2010 Tax Bills)

Hartford Council Holds Line On Taxes - HartfordInfo.org
May 24, 2010: Hartford Courant, Editorial

Hartford Adopts No-Tax Increase Budget - HartfordInfo.org
May 24, 2010: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

Hartford Business Owners Worry About Rising Taxes - HartfordInfo.org
May 7, 2010: Hartford Courant, by Jenna Carlesso

 

2009 Articles
City Considers New Property Tax Option - HartfordInfo.org
May 28, 2009: Hartford Courant, CityLine Blog, by Jeffrey B. Cohen

Expect Five or Six Mills - HartfordInfo.org
May 28, 2009: The Hartford News, by Mike McGarry

Tax Hell: The city aims to get more revenue from local businesses and homeowners alike - HartfordInfo.org
May 5, 2009: Hartford Advocate, by Daniel D'Ambrosio

When Do We Hit 100 mils? - HartfordInfo.org
April 30, 2009: The Hartford News, by Mike McGarry

Climb Every Mountain: Hartford's Budget Challenge, Part III: A Complicated Picture Video - HartfordInfo.org
March 11, 2009: Hartford 2000 Community Meeting Recording

Climb Every Mountain: Hartford's Budget Challenge, Part II: The Local Picture Video - HartfordInfo.org
February 26, 2009: Hartford 2000 Community Meeting Recording

Climb Every Mountain: Hartford's Budget Challenge, Part I: The Big Picture Video - HartfordInfo.org
February 4, 2009: Hartford 2000 Community Meeting Recording

 

2008 Articles
Thank you, City Council - HartfordInfo.org
May 22, 2008: The Hartford News, by Mike McGarry

Taxes up, Services down - HartfordInfo.org
May 8, 2008: The Hartford news, by Mike McGarry

Tax Burden Crushing Life Out Of City Businesses - HartfordInfo.org
May 7, 2008: Hartford Courant, Commentary by Mike McGarry

Property Tax Dilemma: What's the Next Move? Video - HartfordInfo.org
March 5, 2008: Hartford 2000

Tax Increase Cap Will Remain - HartfordInfo.org
February 26, 2008: Hartford Courant, by Daniel E. Goren

Time Is Now For Property Tax Reform - HartfordInfo.org
February 25, 2008: Hartford Business Journal, Commentary by Oz Griebel

Tax-Cap Matter Vexes Council - HartfordInfo.org
February 16, 2008: Hartford Courant, by Jeffrey B. Cohen

Don't Burden Tenants With Tax Hike - HartfordInfo.org
January 27, 2008: Hartford Courant, Commentary by Timothy J. Sullivan

 

2007 Articles
The Wareing Letter
December 31, 2007: Property Tax Reform Task Force, by Richard F. Wareing

Hartford Small Business Alliance Tax: Relief Presentation
???: Hartford Small Business Alliance, by Michael D. O'Connell and Gregory W. Piecuch

Property Tax Plan Sparks Debate - HartfordInfo.org
December 22, 2007: Hartford Courant, by Daniel E. Goren

Tax Revolt - HartfordInfo.org
December 20, 2007: Hartford Advocate, by Daniel D'Ambrosio

On City Taxes, Now it is War - HartfordInfo.org
June 21, 2007: Hartford Advocate, by Daniel D'Ambrosio

Taxes May Be Phased In - HartfordInfo.org
June 9, 2007: Hartford Courant, by Daniel E. Goren

City Looks For New Way To Ease Revaluation Pain - HartfordInfo.org
June 8, 2007: Hartford Courant, by Jeffrey B. Cohen

City Merchants Close Ranks Against Tax Hike - HartfordInfo.org
June 6-13, 2007: The Hartford News, by Andy Hart

Taxes Gone Wild - HartfordInfo.org
June 7, 2007: Hartford Advocate, by Daniel D'Ambrosio

Taxes Too Onerous To Bear - HartfordInfo.org
June 1, 2007: Hartford Courant, by Rick Green

Small City Shops Facing 62% Tax Hikes - HartfordInfo.org
May 21, 2007: Hartford Business Journal, by Diane Weaver Dunne

Hartford 2000 Property Tax Workshop Presentation - HartfordInfo.org
February 22, 2007: Hartford 2000

Hartford 2000 Property Tax Brief - HartfordInfo.org
February 22, 2007: Hartford 2000

The Tax Shuffle - HartfordInfo.org
January 11, 2007: Hartford Advocate, by Meir Rinde

 

2006 Articles
Reduce Property Tax Burden - HartfordInfo.org
December 21, 2006: Hartford Courant, Commentary by Mayor Eddie A. Perez

What Do We Need And ... How Do We Get It? - HartfordInfo.org
December 13-20, 2006: The Hartford News, by Mike McGarry

Tax Plan Slows The Inevitable - HartfordInfo.org
May 15, 2006: Hartford Courant, Editorial

A Winner And Still A Blowhard - HartfordInfo.org
May 7, 2006: Hartford Courant, by Helen Ubinas

Legislature Passes Tax Relief For City, But Mayor's Comments Stung - HartfordInfo.org
May 4, 2006: Hartford Courant, by Jeffrey B. Cohen

Property Tax Challenges for the City of Hartford: Presentation
March 28, 2006: Presentation to City Council, by ???

Playing Property Tax Reform Game - HartfordInfo.org
March 28, 2006: Hartford Courant, Commentary by David Medina

Shock And Awe From Hizzoner - HartfordInfo.org
March 17, 2006: Hartford Courant, Editorial

Perez Tax Plan Bucks Norm - HartfordInfo.org
March 16, 2006: Hartford Courant, by Jeffrey B. Cohen

What If City Taxed Land More, And Buildings Less? - HartfordInfo.org
March 12, 2006: Hartford Courant, Commentary by Wyn Achenbaum

A Proposed Bill Concerning Options to Abate Property Taxes and the Surcharge on Corporations
February 2006: Connecticut General Assembly Bill #531