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Where in Connecticut is the Best Location for a Split Tax?

An Analysis of Land Assessment Equity in Several Cities

Jeffrey P. Cohen and Michael J. Fedele

July 2012, English

Local assessors’ ability to accurately estimate land values separately from structure values is important when considering a split tax. When the value of land is estimated with less variation, there is greater equity. We examine land ratios in New London, New Haven, and Hartford Connecticut—and sub-groupings within these cities, for 2006-2010. Overall, the land ratios coefficients of dispersion (COD)—a measure of horizontal equity—are too large for an equitable split tax. We also look at land assessment equity among sub-groupings of properties near parks; highway exits; airports; Yale University (for New Haven); residential vs. commercial properties; land with old vs. new properties; and large vs. small parcels and “expensive” vs. “less expensive” properties (by examining price per square foot). Commercial properties near Hartford’s Brainard Airport are the best candidates for an equitable split tax. We also find more frequent revaluations are necessary for an equitable split tax.