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Wilton Official Questions Plan To Cut Property Taxes On Cars

Wilton is studying how Gov. Dannel Malloy's proposal to end most property taxes on cars would impact the town.
Wilton is studying how Gov. Dannel Malloy's proposal to end most property taxes on cars would impact the town. Photo Credit: Melvin Mason

WILTON, Conn. – Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposal to cut motor vehicle property taxes could changes Wilton's tax picture, the town's Chief Financial Officer Sandy Dennies says, but she wants more details.

The change would affect the town’s financial picture and might prompt higher taxes in other areas, Dennies said. Wilton is expecting to bring in about $4 million in motor vehicle tax revenue in the fiscal year that ends June 30. Malloy’s plan would eliminate property taxes on motor vehicles valued less than $28,500. Towns and cities could implement the cut this year or wait until 2014 to cut the car taxes under his plan.

“Based on our anticipated revenue for motor vehicles, it would have a significant impact on supporting municipal expenditures,” Dennies said. “When you do a town budget, you do a list of expenditures and revenues. If you don’t have adequate resources, you have to tax for it. So the motor vehicle line item … would definitely impact revenue.” 

It is difficult to tell just how much of an effect the cut would have because it’s just a proposal, Dennies said. Wilton won’t do anything about it yet because of the uncertainty, Dennies said after speaking with First Selectman Bill Brennan on Wednesday. “The legislature still needs to act on it,” she said.

Removing some cars from the town’s Grand List would force the mill rate to rise for the rest of the vehicles and homes in town, Wilton Board of Finance Chairman Warren Serenbetz Jr. said. 

“It really makes no sense for the purpose proposed by Malloy and probably increases cost for the town as they now have to figure out which cars qualify and which don’t,” he said.

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