Minimal growth: Bristol's Grand List up 0.16% this year

Published on Monday, 5 February 2018 22:22
Written by Lorenzo Burgio


BRISTOL - The city’s tax base experienced minimal growth in 2017, according to this year’s Grand List.

The list grew roughly $6.1 million for the year, representing a 0.16 percent increase. The value of all taxable property in the city is now $3.917 billion.

“The $6 million growth represents $220,000 in added revenue based on the current mill rate at 36.03. In talking about this with the assessor, we are looking forward to an uptick in commercial construction,” Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu said. “While growth is incremental, we are happy to see it, and will continue working with existing and potential businesses and projects.”

The assessed value of real estate grew an average of 0.49 percent, or about $15.7 million in 2017.

That increase was primarily due to the revaluation of properties the city performed that year, according to City Assessor Tom DeNoto. Before then, the last revaluation was in 2012.

Meanwhile, the assessed value of motor vehicles decreased 0.56 percent, or $2.1 million in 2017, after seeing a 3.7 percent increase the year before, DeNoto said.

The city used a tax rate of 32 mills for motor vehicle taxes in 2017, DeNoto said. The state caps the mill rate on motor vehicle taxes at 37 mills. Therefore, if the city adopted the 5 mill increase, it could represent about $1.8 million in revenue, he explained.

The assessed value of personal property decreased 2.44 percent, or $7.4 million, which is common, according to DeNoto.

In 2016, many city companies had “retooled,” or reorganized, which caused an increase of about 12 percent in personal property values in January 2017, DeNoto explained. “But with the retool component, there is generally some type of drop off,” he said.

“With minimal Grand List growth, the city needs to take a hard look at where the revenue is coming in,” DeNoto said.

For example, the city’s apartment market is strong with a high occupancy rate, making apartment rental units an attractive investment right now, DeNoto said.

“The apartment component of the Grand List went up 6.25 percent (in 2017),” he said. “The market is definitely responding to demand. There’s plenty of demand in the city for rental units. We are seeing many pieces of older stock being rehabilitated.”

Commercial development on Route 72 could also help grow the tax base, DeNoto added.

“That corridor, with tens of thousands of cars a day, can obviously support more commercial development,” he said. “Those are positive growth components that the city has. Many areas can be debilitated with new uses.”

Zoppo-Sassu said, “Recent good commercial transactions along the easternmost portion of Route 6 indicate some future promise.”

Among those future projects are the new healthcare clinic at the former Frankie’s and 1235 Farmington Avenue, a post-foreclosure purchase forecasting potential new retail, Zoppo-Sassu said.

She also cited the redevelopment of O’Connell and Bingham Schools into apartments, and the one residential subdivision extension off Old Orchard Road with the potential development of newly constructed mid-$200,000 to low-$300,000 single-family homes, as future promises.

ESPN was once again the city’s highest taxpayer in 2017, with a total net assessment of $218,205,850. It has held that position since 2007.

Eversource was the city’s second highest taxpayer with a total net assessment of $61,328,340. It has held that position since 2014.

Covanta was the city’s third highest taxpayer with a total net assessment of $33,993,170. It has held that position for three years.

The following seven taxpayers on the list, in order from highest to lowest, are, Bristol Center LLC, Bristol Sports DST, Federal Realty Investment Trust, Lake Compounce, Carpenter Realty Company, D’Amato Construction and its affiliated LLCs, and Yankee Gas Service Company.

Lorenzo Burgio can be reached at 860-801-5088 or by email at

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Monday, 5 February 2018 22:22. Updated: Monday, 5 February 2018 22:25.