Letter to the editor: Hurting those they should be helping

In a June 14 CT Post story, Trumbull First Selectman Tesoro is quoted saying “she’s not sure that average is fair,” regarding a mean residential property tax increase of 15 percent.

(Editor’s note: Tesoro was referring to the fact that the average might be misrepresentative, as revaluation can skew the numbers widely, as even homes in the same neighborhood of comparable value can be assessed much differently.)

I would agree, it isn’t fair, or just or right. Why? For over a month now residents with a substantially higher tax burden have been telling me so. 

Mrs. Tesoro and her administration quite simply got this one wrong. Putting off the 2020 revaluation to 2021 was an error in judgment resulting in the single largest tax increase in residents’ memory, maybe in town history.

A revaluation done at the height of the market with barely a word in preparation to the hardworking taxpayers of Trumbull has residents on their heels. Added to the highest inflation in over 40 years and record gas prices, this administration has turned its back on the community when it should be working overtime to lessen the tax burden on everyone. 

The reality is, they had options and they made bad choices.

1. They could have invoked CT Law 12-62p. This would have allowed the increase to be phased in over 5 years.

2. We could have joined forces with other municipalities and pressured the legislature and governor to declare a residential fiscal emergency allowing Trumbull and others an additional year to comply with revaluation or skip it all together due to these unprecedented times. It’s currently allowing 10 municipalities to postpone their upcoming revaluations, including Danbury, Orange, Wilton, and Stamford.

3. We could have offered tax relief to households earning $150,000 or less.

4. We should have anticipated how to best benefit the town with $10,000,000 in federal COVID stimulus funds that did not create fiscal cliffs needing to be filled by Trumbull taxpayers.

This administration’s tax and spending is hurting the taxpayers of Trumbull, those it should be helping most.

Mark Block