The Cities Project is collaborative journalism and reporting on how to revitalize Connecticut cities from The Connecticut Mirror, Connecticut Public Radio, Hearst Connecticut Media, The Hartford Courant, the Republican-American (of Waterbury), the Hartford Business Journal, and Purple States.

Myriad ideas exist to solve Hartford’s property tax dilemma

By and , Hartford Business Journal | July 15, 2019

For years, John Tornatore chafed at the high personal and real estate property taxes the city of Hartford levied on his South End flower shop. In the mid-2000s, Tornatore was fed up with the steep impacts  of a revaluation and ready to move his enterprise with roots to the days when gunmaker Colt’s dominated the…

Read full story →

How much Hartford real estate is tax exempt? The percentage is higher than you think

By , Hartford Business Journal | June 26, 2019

Of the $7.1 billion of assessed real estate within the city of Hartford’s tightly confined borders, 59 percent of it is untaxed because its owners are nonprofits or other tax-exempt entities, according to a Hartford Business Journal data analysis of the city’s 2018 grand list. It’s an issue city officials have long decried as a…

Read full story →

Hartford’s exorbitant commercial property tax curbs economic growth

By and , Hartford Business Journal | June 26, 2019

When D&D Market closed its Franklin Avenue storefront in Sept. 2016, Hartford lost more than a landmark small business. The third-generation family grocer, caterer and purveyor of fresh foods traces its Capital City roots back to 1932, when present-day owner Daniel D’Aprile’s grandfather opened a bustling market that became a mainstay on one of Hartford’s…

Read full story →

Meet the architect of Hartford’s bifurcated tax system

By , Hartford Business Journal | June 25, 2019

It was around Easter 1978 when John McDermott, who just a year earlier left his post as Hartford’s assessor to take a job at a national consulting firm, got a call from then city political power boss Nick Carbone, who needed help coming up with a scheme to counteract what amounted to a pending property-tax…

Read full story →

Calculating a commercial property tax bill in Hartford

By , Hartford Business Journal | June 25, 2019

To calculate any property tax bill in Connecticut, an individual or business owner must multiply the assessed value of their property by a city’s or town’s mill rate and then divide by 1,000. In the 1970s, Connecticut passed a law that required all cities and towns to adopt a 70-percent assessment ratio. That means to…

Read full story →

The Cities Project: With Connecticut cities struggling with blighted properties, Newburgh, N.Y., may have a solution

By , Republican American | June 24, 2019

NEWBURGH, N.Y. — South Miller Street is one of the toughest streets in the gritty little city of Newburgh, N.Y. Riven by poverty, blight, drugs and gang violence, a 2011 headline in New York Magazine labeled it the “Murder Capital of New York.” Even so, sagging rooflines, broken entryways and boarded windows of two-story and…

Read full story →

City Revival — Did We Learn From the Urban Renewal Era?

By , CT Mirror | June 24, 2019

  By the middle of the last century, U.S. cities were showing their age. They had endured the Great Depression and World War II, two decades of deferred maintenance. They were losing residents and businesses to the suburbs. But a confident America, that had just turned German and Japanese cities to rubble, stepped up. Congress passed…

Read full story →

Panel Discussion: New Life for New England’s Industrial Past

By , Connecticut Public Radio | June 23, 2019

CT Public Radio’s John Dankosky hosted a panel discussion titled “New Life For New England’s Industrial Past” at the Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven on Tuesday, June 18. Click “Read Full Story,” below, to see a video of that discussion.

Read full story →

UTC’s exit: Relief & recriminations, but little introspection

By , CT Mirror | June 12, 2019

The relief was palpable in some quarters when United Technologies Corporation offered no ugly words about Connecticut as the aerospace conglomerate announced plans to pack up its C-suite for a move to the thriving economy of greater Boston, the home of its merger partner, Raytheon Co., and another recent Nutmeg expatriate, GE. “It’s not like…

Read full story →

New Haven, Danbury among America’s 50 best small cities

By , Hartford Courant | June 11, 2019

New Haven and Danbury are among the top 50 cities in the U.S. with populations of less than a million, according to a new study from Resonance Consultancy, a marketing firm that specializes in destination branding. The study ranked New Haven No. 37 and Danbury No. 43. “With the top-ranking university, Yale, among small cities in the…

Read full story →