21 Aug 2014
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Letter: Fairfield Taxpayers Subsidizing Private Clubs

Resident Joan Fortuna talks taxes and assessments.

Letter: Fairfield Taxpayers Subsidizing Private Clubs

Land owned by private clubs located in the Town of Fairfield has been designated as open space, thereby affording each club a generous reduction to their tax assessments. 

One example is Fairfield Beach Club as follows:

Fairfield Beach Club has 4.7 acres of which 2 acres are valued as open space.

Assessment: 2 acres x $1,750.00 (assessed value) = $3,500.00 valuation

$3,500.00 X .0233 (mill rate) = $81.55 tax paid on 2 acres

These assessments contrast greatly with private homeowners of close proximity to the beach club as follows:

Neighboring house on Fairfield Beach Road:

Assessment: .15 acres @ $952,560.00

Taxes: $952,560.00 (assessed value) x .233 (mill rate) = $22,261.00 taxes paid on

.15 acres.

Is this fair? Why does Fairfield consider these clubs as open space, when other towns have chosen not to designate golf courses as open space, but rather tax them as commercial property?  Why should the taxpayers of Fairfield subsidize these properties?

In Fairfield the Tax Assessor chose not to raise the assessed values of the open space property of country clubs and beach clubs in the 2010 revaluation, while adjoining residential properties had their revaluations dramatically increased.

Why didn’t private club properties share in that increase? 

I know the Town of Fairfield needs more revenue, evidenced by the dramatic increase that many home owners have seen in their revaluations and taxes.  The town does not have to look very far, just adjust the assessment value of the open space acreage for the private clubs so that we the taxpayers do not have to subsidize these private clubs and all parties are fairly taxed.  Hopefully this will change in the next revaluation.

 

Joan Fortuna

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