Assessor: Tax Bill Would Have Small Impact on Yale

A Connecticut House of Representatives bill proposal that aims to eliminate the residential property tax exemptions that currently apply to private colleges and hospitals would have Yale University-already the fourth highest taxpayer in the city-adding another $137,000 to New Haven’s Grand List, according to City Assessor Alexzander Pullen.

But that would only be a drop in the bucket when it comes to lowering the tax burden for other residents, Pullen says.

“The additional $137,000 would have so small of an impact that it most likely wouldn’t result in a mill rate change at all under the given circumstances,” Pullen wrote in an email.

The bill-introduced by House Speaker Brendan Sharkey-was drafted in an effort to address concerns related to the increased tax burden other residents bear when private colleges acquire properties that become exempt. Sharkey did not return requests for comment, but made references to Hamden’s own Quinnipiac University when he spoke with The Connecticut Mirror in May.

The bill made it through the House on the condition that the legislation’s language regarding hospitals apply only to future property purchases, according to the Mirror. The proposal is now being discussed in the state Senate.

In New Haven, Yale University owns approximately $3.3 million in non-taxable residential property, according to Pullen. That’s out of over $2.5 billion the University has in exempt property overall.

“If Yale’s exempt property were added to the current Grand List and nothing else changed, the mill rate could be reduced from 41.55, by approximately 20 mills,” Pullen wrote in an email. “This, however, is not a realistic assumption as a large decrease in both state pilot and voluntary pilot paid by Yale would cease to exist should this scenario ever come into existence. This would change the Grand Levy and consequently increase the mill rate.”

Last year, the University paid more than $38.5 million in PILOT-or, Payment in Lieu of Taxes-funds to the City of New Haven, according to the website Connecticut Open Data.

The University owns $106 million in assessed property value-over $96.5 million of which is nonresidential-on the city’s taxable Grand List, Pullen said. That translates to $4.4 million in taxes Yale doles out in addition to the PILOT money-a voluntary payment.

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