Grand list rises 1%

For the city of Bristol, 2016 saw a year of growth in its tax base.

The city’s 2016 Grand List increased by over 1 percent—a sign that the business community is actively participating and reinvesting in its asset growth, said City Assessor Tom DeNoto.

Every year the Grand List measures the net (and gross) assessment for property in real estate, motor vehicles, and personal property. As of October 2016, Bristol’s total net Grand List, which is the grand list following property tax breaks and property tax exemptions, was $3,911,459,729, which is a 1.72 percent increase from the 2015 net Grand List, according to the Assessor’s office.

The net Personal Property Grand List, which includes items like office equipment, computers and factory machines, saw the most growth, as it increased by nearly 12 percent to $304,857,623.

Companies like Lake Compounce, ESPN, and Eversource played a major role in the city’s tax base growth.

“We have 2,239 total accounts and 920 accounts saw an increase of at least $10 or more. Six accounts had between $1 million and $8 million,” said DeNoto, adding that 2013 was the last time Bristol saw a similar growth in personal property. “Retooling for those businesses and keeping up-to-date, keeping with current standards—that’s key to keeping jobs in the city of Bristol. Also, reinvesting in their products adds to the Grand List.”

The net Real Estate Grand List totaled $3,222,331,626, which is a .63 percent increase over the previous year.

A major component othat net growth was ESPN’s Digital Center 2 building, which is a phased-in assessment, said DeNoto. In 2012, ESPN applied for a tax exemption for this new building, which received its certificate of occupancy three years ago.

ESPN continues to be Bristol’s number one taxpayer.

“The phased-in assessment for the Digital Center 2 goes up about 17 percent each year. It has a few more years of that increase,” said DeNoto, adding how the city is extremely fortunate to have ESPN as its top taxpayer.

Meanwhile, the net Motor Vehicle Grand List was $383,270,480, which marks a 3.68 percent increase over the previous year.

Last year, there was uncertainty in the city’s 2015 Motor Vehicle Grand List, as the DMV experienced a glitch in its upgraded system. As a result, thousands of drivers in the state were told they did not have proper insurance, and were penalized. The DMV then announced an immediate action plan for a backlog of cases that resulted in the suspension of registration for vehicles not having state-required insurance.

DeNoto said the problem has been corrected.

“The DMV helped the Connecticut Assessors Association, and…the Assessors Association tried to help the DMV with address corrections,” said DeNoto, adding how state drivers also worked diligently to ensure that the DMV had the correct information. “If you had an older address somewhere maintained in the DMV records, that could have gotten skewed in the database upgrade, and it did misreport many vehicles.”

Bristol’s top 10 taxpayers

Bristol’s 10 largest taxpayers are as follows:

Taxpayer                                Total Net Assessment          % of Grand List

ESPN                      $222,486,506          5.69

Eversource                            $57,087,740            1.46

Covanta                 $45,226,780            1.16

Bristol Center LLC               $32,775,050            0.84

Federal Realty Trust            $22,177,120            0.57

Bristol Sports DST                $20,791,050            0.53

Lake Compounce $20,659,490            0.53

Carpenter Realty Co.           $19,547,908            0.5

Yankee Gas Service              $15, 682,070           0.4

D’Amato Construction        $15,409,947            0.39