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Wind Colebrook South, LLC v. Town of Colebrook (SC 20594) August 3, 2022

Wind Colebrook South, LLC v. Town of Colebrook – Concurrence

Wind Turbine – Real or Personal Property – Supreme Court Decision

The principal issue in this appeal is whether wind turbines used for the generation of electricity, and their associated equipment, are properly classified for purposes of taxation as real property pursuant to General Statutes § 12-64 (a) or, instead, as personal property pursuant to General Statutes § 12-41 (c) The plaintiff, Wind Colebrook South, LLC, appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered primarily in favor of the defendant, the town of Colebrook, in this municipal property tax appeal brought pursuant to General Statutes §§ 12-117a and 12-119.

Original Appeal

Wind Colebrook South, LLC v. Town of Colebrook (CV16 6019649 S) March 16, 2020

Real Property or Personal Property and Valuation Thereof

The plaintiff has filed a municipal property tax appeal in which the primary items of property under appeal are two wind turbines and certain associated equipment located on the plaintiff’s land on Flagg Hill Road in Colebrook, Connecticut (the “property”) which transmit electricity generated by the wind turbines to the electrical power grid. Construction of the wind turbines and associated equipment was completed in 2015, and were first subject to municipal property taxation on the grand list of October 1, 2015. For that grand list year, the town’s assessor classified the two wind turbines and associated equipment and the land to which they were affixed as real estate subject to taxation under General Statutes §12-64. The plaintiff filed an appeal of the assessor’s classification and assessment with the town’s Board of Assessment Appeals.

More specifically, the plaintiff appeals the assessment and taxation of the real property at 29 Flagg Hill Road, including the wind turbines, and the assessment and taxation of its personal property. It does not appeal the assessment and taxation of the adjoining real property at 17 Flagg Hill Road but does appeal the assessment of some of the personal property located there.

Conclusion

The plaintiff has failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence its allegations as to counts one, two, three, four, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, and twelve. Judgment shall enter in favor of the defendant as to those counts.

The plaintiff has proven its allegations as to count five relative to the illegality of the imposition of the penalty relative to the October 1, 2016 personal property declaration. Judgment shall enter in favor of the plaintiff as to that count. The defendant is ordered to refund to the plaintiff, the amount of the penalty paid by the plaintiff with four (4) percent interest from the date it was paid.

Deborah Ziegler Hilibrand v. Town of Greenwich (CV 16 6036186 S) July 21, 2022

Overvaluation – Residential Property

This matter is a real property tax appeal by Deborah Ziegler Hilibrand (plaintiff) concerning the valuation and taxation by the Town of Greenwich (defendant) of real property and improvements thereof located at 100 Conyers Farm Drive in the Town of Greenwich as of October 1, 2015. The court held a trial on July 19, 2022.

The Property comprises approximately 5 acres with an 11,612 square foot (gross living area above grade) home, a pool, tennis court and patios. The total square footage of the home is in excess of 15,000 square feet including finished below grade space. The Property also has a three-car garage. The condition of the improvements is good with no deferred maintenance.

As of October 1, 2015 (Valuation Date), the defendant valued the Property at $13,419,400 and assessed taxes based upon seventy percent of the foregoing valuation and the applicable mil rate.

The plaintiff appealed the foregoing valuation and assessment to the Greenwich Board of Assessment Appeals and the board reduced the valuation to $12,419,400 and correspondingly reduced the assessment to seventy percent of the reduced value.

The plaintiff remains of the belief that the Board’s reduced valuation and assessment are still excessive, disproportionate and unlawful in that the plaintiff believes that the reduced valuation exceeds the actual value of the Property, and has accordingly brought this appeal.

As of the Valuation Date, the court finds that the true market value of the Property was $12,550,000.

John J. Fuller v. Town of Old Saybrook, Et Al (CV 19 6054200 S) June 21, 2022

Overvaluation – Residential Waterfront Property

This matter is a real property tax appeal brought by John J. Fuller (plaintiff) concerning the valuation and taxation of real property located at 42 Watrous Point Road in Old Saybrook by the Town of Old Saybrook and the Old Saybrook Board of Assessment Appeals (collectively, defendants). The plaintiff has brought a single count complaint asserting a claim pursuant to General Statute § 12-ll 7a. The court held a trial on May 27, 2022.

The Property comprises 4.97 acres on the Connecticut River near Long Island Sound in Old Saybrook as well as a 7,866 square foot residence which has been well maintained and in good condition. The Property also has an in ground pool, a detached garage, a pool house, and a dock on the Connecticut River with a boat lift.

The plaintiff s expert, Robert Champagne, determined that the full fair market value of the Property as of the Assessment Date was $4,030,000.

The defendant’s expert, Michael Fazio, determined that the full fair market value of the Property as of the Assessment Date was $5 million.

Judgment enters for the plaintiff on the single count of the complaint. The full fair market valuation of the Property as of October 1, 2018 was $5 million. Taxes should be assessed on the Property based upon seventy percent of the foregoing full market valuation and the applicable mill rate.  The court will consider an award of costs if the plaintiff submits an appropriate and reasonable request. The court declines to award interest.

Chestnut Point Realty, LLC, ET AL v. Town of East Windsor (CV 19 6112549 S) June 1, 2022

Overpayment Refund Request

In this action, the plaintiffs assert that the defendant town should be compelled to refund alleged overpayments of real estate taxes and pay their attorneys’ fees under the doctrine of municipal estoppel. The plaintiffs claim that the town misled them into believing that they could appeal the town’s Board of Assessment Appeals’ (BAA) decision by filing, rather than serving, their tax appeals within two months from the date notices of the BAA’s decisions were mailed.

In the present action, the Town filed its answer to the complaint on May 28, 2021, and asserted statute of limitation, res judicata and collateral estoppel as special defenses. The plaintiffs’ reply denied the special defenses. On July  13, 2021, the Town filed its motion for summary judgment  and supporting memorandum  of law (motion for summary judgment), arguing that (1) the plaintiffs’  municipal estoppel claims are barred by the three-year tort statute of limitations in General Statutes § 52-5774  because the alleged wrongful conduct occurred on May 1, 2013, when the Appeal Instructions were issued, and the plaintiffs did not commence this action until April 29, 2019; (2) the plaintiffs could and should have raised their municipal estoppel claims in the Tax Litigation, and are now barred from doing so under the principles ofres judicata  and/or collateral estoppel; and (3) the plaintiffs’  action is an impermissible collateral attack.

For the foregoing reasons (in the decision), the Town’s motion for summary judgment based on the collateral attack on the Supreme Court’s prior judgments is granted. The court need not address the Town’s alternative grounds for summary judgment (statute of limitations, res judicata, and collateral estoppel).

Original Appeal

On March 20, 2013, KB Realty and CP Realty filed tax appeals with the BAA, alleging that the KB Property and the CP Property had been overassessed. On May 1, 2013, the Town, acting through the BAA and the assessor, denied the appeals and issued written notices (Appeal Instructions) advising KB Realty and CP Realty that “[a]ppeals from the decision of the Board of Assessment Appeals are to be filed with the Superior Court within two (2) months of the Board’s action.” (Revised Compl., Exs. 1 & 3.)

On June 28, 2013, KB Realty and CP Realty filed tax appeals with the Superior Court (Tax Litigation) alleging that the properties had been overvalued. (See Kettle Brook Realty, LLC v. East  Windsor, Docket no. HHB-CV-13-6021279-S;  Chestnut Point Realty, LLC v. East  Windsor, Docket no. HHB-CV-13-6021280-S.)  The procedural history of these companion cases, and the arguments presented on appeal, are identical. The plaintiffs sought reimbursement from the Town for excess taxes they paid on the properties. The complaints were accompanied by a citation and recognizance and bore a July 23, 2013, return date. On July 10, 2013, a marshal served the complaints, citations and recognizances on the Town. On July 17, 2013, the marshal filed the returns of service with the court. On August  14, 2013, the Town filed motions to dismiss the appeals, arguing that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the plaintiffs did not serve the appeal papers on the Town within the two- month period mandated by General Statutes § 12-117a.1 After a hearing, the court granted the Town’s motions and dismissed the appeals.

The plaintiffs appealed to the Appellate Court, which affirmed the trial courts’ decisions, finding that the appeals were untimely under § 12-117a because the plaintiffs did not serve the Town within two months of the date that the board mailed notice of its decision denying the tax appeals.

The plaintiffs further appealed to the Connecticut Supreme Court. This court takes judicial notice of the Supreme Court’s decision in Chestnut Point Realty, LLC v. East  Windsor, 324 Conn. 528, 153 A.3d 636 (2017), in which the court affirmed the Appellate Court’s decisions and concluded that the tax appeals were untimely. 

Alico LLC, Et Al v. Town of Somers (CV 19 6055404 S) May 6, 2022

Motor Vehicle Registered out of State

This matter is an appeal of personal property taxes assessed by the Town of Somers (defendant), starting on its October 1, 2017 grand list, against Alico LLC (plaintiff), concerning two motor vehicles, namely a 2017 Chevrolet Silverado and a 2017 Cadillac Escalade.

The plaintiff is a Massachusetts limited liability company having an office and a place of business in Ludlow, Massachusetts. The plaintiff is a landscape construction company which performs work in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York.

The Motor Vehicles are driven daily and are garaged overnight at a Somers residence.  The plaintiff listed the Motor Vehicles on its 2019 personal property declaration in Somers with a notation that it paid taxes on the Motor Vehicles in Massachusetts.

Loch View, LLC v. Town of Windham (AC 44169) April 14, 2022

Appeal of a Prior Decision

The plaintiff appealed from the trial court’s denial of its motion to open the judgment dismissing its 2019 action against the defendant town regarding a municipal tax dispute, claiming that the court failed to exercise its discretion in ruling on that motion or, in the alternative, that it abused its discretion. The court had dismissed the 2019 action pursuant to the prior pending action doctrine, on the basis that the plaintiff had filed a previous action in 2016 against the defendant which had not been resolved and the two actions were virtually alike, both actions having been brought to adjudicate the same underlying rights and factual claims. Thereafter, the trial court in the 2016 action denied the plaintiff’s request for leave to amend its complaint to add a count alleging the constitutional violations th.at it had asserted in the 2019 action, and the court in the 2019 action denied the plaintiff’s motion to open the judgment.

Held, that the trial court exercised its discretion in denying the plaintiff’s motion to open, as it considered and rejected  the change in circumstances identified by the plaintiff in its motion,  and the court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that the court’s denial of the plaintiff’s request to amend its complaint in the 2016 action did not require that the judgment of dismissal in the 2019 action be opened; moreover, the plaintiff could still fully and fairly litigate its constitutional claims in the 2016 action, as the plaintiff raised an identical constitutional argument as a special defense to the defendant’s counterclaim in the 2016 action and the fact that the plaintiff was forced to make its constitutional claim defensively instead of affirmatively did not affect the plaintiff’s ability to litigate those arguments; furthermore, the court properly considered the interests of judicial economy and efficiency and the need to avoid duplicative litigation and conflicting results in denying the plaintiffs motion to open.

Kaplan Walker, Robert Lisa v. Town of Clinton ( CV 21 6066444 S) April 8, 2022

Interior Inspection Refusal for Tax Appeal

This matter is a real property tax appeal which asserts claims of over-taxation pursuant to CGS 12-117a and CGS 12-119. In such a tax appeal, the proper valuation of the property is the primary issue to be decided. The plaintiffs have had the property at issue appraised. The defendant town seeks an order from the court compelling the plaintiff to allow the town’s appraiser to inspect the property. The plaintiff has opposed the town’s motion and has refused to allow an inspection of the property.

United States Postal Service & 29 Valley LLP v. Town of Greenwich (CV 17 6039384) April 8, 2022

Trial Brief for Bifurcated Trial regarding Land Value April 6, 2022

Overvaluation Portion of the Appeal

This court has previously determined that the Buildings and Improvements are exempt from taxation pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes 12-81(1) and the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution because they are owned by the USPS. See Memorandum of Decision dated August 18, 2021 by Aurigemma, J. at pages 11-12.

Judgment enters for the Plaintiffs on counts one, two and four. Judgment enters for the defendants on count three. The proper full market valuation of the property as of October 1,  2015, and for all periods challenged in this matter, shall be $7,400,000.  Taxes should have been assessed using seventy percent of the foregoing full market value and the applicable mil rate. The Buildings and Improvements are exempt from taxation. The court awards the Plaintiffs interest at the rate of three percent per year on any overpaid taxes from the date of such overpayment to the date of this decision.

United States Postal Service & 29 Valley LLP v. Town of Greenwich (CV 17-6039384) August 18, 2021

Exemption of a US Post Office

For many years the post office building in Greenwich, Connecticut had enjoyed tax exempt status as property belonging to the United States. In 2015 a new assessor began employment with the Town of Greenwich and determined that the post office building should no longer enjoy the federal exemption. In this case the plaintiffs appeal from the assessment under Connecticut General Statutes § 12-117a and § 12-119, alleging that this post office building is exempt from local taxation and seeking reimbursement for overpayment of taxes.

“Based on the foregoing, the court finds that the buildings and improvements on the Subject Property belong to the USPS within the meaning of Connecticut General Statutes § 12-81(1) and the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, and are, therefore, exempt from taxation. Estoppel Preventing Change in Exemption.”

Digital 60 & 80 Merritt LLC v. Town of Trumbull (AC 44296) April 1, 2022

Town of Trumbull’s  Appeal of the Lower Court Decision

The defendant town of Trumbull and its Board of Assessment Appeals appealed to this court from the judgment of the trial court sustaining the plaintiff’s appeals from the decisions of the board, which upheld the town’s tax assessments levied against the plaintiff’s real property.

After reviewing the record, including the thorough and well reasoned memorandum of decision, we conclude that the court’s determination of the fair market value of the property was not clearly erroneous. The judgments are affirmed.

 

Digital 60 & 80 Merritt LLC v. Town of Trumbull (CV 14 025041 S) & (CV 15029300 S) August 4, 2020

Overvaluation – Original Appeal

These consolidated cases are tax appeals brought by the plaintiff, Digital 60 & 80 Merritt, LLC, pursuant to General Statutes § 12-117a, contesting the valuation of its property at 60 Merritt Boulevard in the town of Trumbull (town) on the town’s Grand Lists for October 1, 2013, and October 1, 2014, and the refusal of the town’s Board of Assessment Appeals to reduce the corresponding tax assessments. The appeals were tried before the court for twenty-three days between October 2018 and March 2019. The court heard testimony from the town’s assessor, two experts with opinions on valuation, and two representatives of the plaintiff with knowledge about the plaintiff, the facility in question, and its operations. The parties introduced many exhibits into evidence, the plaintiff s labeled with capital letters and the defendant’s with numbers, including written appraisal opinions from each one’s expert. On December  19, 2018, the court and counsel also conducted a site visit and view of the property.

After the close of evidence, the parties submitted proposed findings of facts and briefs, appeared for argument in December 2019, and submitted post-argument briefs in February 2020. The matter is now ready for decision. The town appraiser appraised the property as having a fair market value of $145,446,000 as of October 1, 2013, and October 1, 2014. As discussed below, the court finds that the plaintiff has proven that the property was overvalued for tax assessment purposes and is therefore aggrieved. The court further finds that the fair market value of the fee simple interest in 60 Merritt Boulevard, reflecting the physical condition of that property as of October 1, 2013 and October 1, 2014, and based on market conditions as of October 1, 2011, was $109,000,000.

Peerless Realty, Inc v. City of Stamford Et Al. (AC 43448) March 25, 2022

Assessment Change and Tax Refund Greater than Three Years

The plaintiff property owner sought reimbursement from the defendants, the city and its tax assessor, for certain real property taxes paid to the city. In 2017, the plaintiff discovered that the city’s tax assessment records listed its property as being comprised of 1.15 acres, rather than the 0.89 acres that the plaintiff’s appraiser had determined in 1995 or the 0.88 acres that it had been surveyed at in 2008. The plaintiff contacted the tax assessor, who confirmed that the discrepancy was the result of an error and indicated that it likely had occurred when the city converted its records to an electronic system in 1993. The tax assessor corrected the error, credited the plaintiff for the excess amount it had paid in 2016, the then current tax year, informed the plaintiff that, pursuant to the applicable statutes (§§ 12-60 and 12-129), the city could only refund the plaintiff for excess payments made during the prior three years, and sent the plaintiff an application for reimbursement for the excess amounts paid for the 2014 and 2015 tax years.

Instead of completing the application, the plaintiff sent a letter to the defendants demanding a refund of all excess taxes paid since 1993. The defendants’ response reiterated that any claim for a refund going back more than three years was time barred by the applicable statutes.

Danbury Mall LLC v. City of Danbury (CV 18 6046738 S) March 24, 2022

MS Portfolio LLC v. City of Danbury (CV 18 6046739 S) Consolidated decision, included in above link

Real Property Appeal – Valuation

These consolidated litigations are real property tax appeals brought pursuant to General Statutes § 12-117a and § 12-119. The two appeals challenge the valuations and property tax assessments of the City of Danbury (Danbury) concerning three related parcels of real estate. The consolidated matters were tried to the court over several days in December 2021 and January 2022. The “Danbury Mall Property” is comprised of three parcels; the Mall Proper, the Sears Property & the Former Filene Property.

The decision is split with some counts for the plaintiff and others for the defendant.

Bassilakis, Harry v. Town of Bloomfield (CV 20-6060278 S) March 21, 2022

Motion For Judgment

Fair Market Value of $67,180 for the Property broken down with the P.A. 490 exemption in place for farmland of 12.33 acres with a fair market value of $12,330; plus outbuildings with a fair market value of $22,900 and for the non­ exempt land $31,950. The Property will have an assessed value of $47,026.

The assessed value and fair market value shall remain at the reduced values and with the P.A. 490 farmland exemption and shall not change except for the valueor as may otherwise be permitted by law or the cessation of farming activities as they were existing on 10/112020.

Bassilakis, Harry v. Town of Bloomfield (CV 20-6060278 S) November 17, 2020

Physical Inspection of Farmland – Original Appeal

In this tax appeal the plaintiff challenges the Town of Bloomfield’s (“Town”) revocation of a longstanding farmland exemption for the subject property. As part of the discovery process, the Town seeks a court order authorizing it to inspect the subject property. The plaintiff objects. For the following reasons, the court overrules the plaintiff s objection.

Colvest/Colchester, LLC v. Town of Colchester (CV 20 6062877 S) March 14, 2022

Real Property Appeal – Valuation

This matter is a real property tax assessment appeal by Colvest/Colchester, LLC (plaintiff) concerning the tax assessment by the Town of Colchester (Colchester) for certain real property owned by the plaintiff located at 71 Linwood Avenue in Colchester. The plaintiff’s complaint challenges the tax assessment on the subject real property, pursuant to General Statutes §§ 12-117a and 12-119, on the 2019 and 2020 Colchester grand lists. The court held a trial on March 10, 2022.

Macy’s Retail Holdings, Inc. v. City of Danbury (CV 18 6046735 S) March 2, 2022

Department Store, Mall Anchor – Valuation Appeal

This matter is a property tax appeal challenging the October 1, 2017 tax assessment of property, owned by Macy’s Retail Holdings, Inc. (plaintiff), located at 7 Backus Avenue in Danbury by the City of Danbury (defendant). The effective complaint is an amended complaint dated September 29, 2021, asserting eight counts challenging the defendant’s assessment of the foregoing property pursuant to General Statutes §12-1l7a and §12-119 on the grand lists for October 1, 2017 through October 1, 2020. The court held a trial on December 1 -2, 2021.

The Property comprises a three-level owner occupied department store building attached to a regional shopping mall within the A class category with a gross building area of 240,413 square feet and 14.33 acres of land.

As of October 1, 2017 (Assessment Date), the defendant assessed the full fair market value of the Property as $17,206,800 with $10,953,600 attributed to the land and $6,253,200 attributed to the improvements thereon.

The defendant’s expert, Mark Kenney, determined that the full fair market value of the Property as of the Assessment Date was $19 million.

The plaintiff s expert, Donald Bouchard, determined that the full fair market value of the Property as of the Assessment Date was $11,500,000.

Redding Life Card, LLC v. Town of Redding (CV 13 6021904 S) February 4, 2022

Life Care Facility – Assessment Appeal

This matter is a real estate tax appeal concerning a property known as Meadow Ridge located at 100 Redding Road in Redding. Redding Life Care LLC (plaintiff) has filed a complaint challenging the valuation of the foregoing property set by the town of Redding (defendant) as of October 1, 2012, and on the defendant’s grand lists for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 pursuant to General Statutes §§ 12-117a and 12-119. The court held a trial on December 6- 9, 2021.

As of October 1, 2012 (Valuation Date), the defendant determined that the fair full market value of the Property was $112,500,000, and assessed taxes based upon 70% of the foregoing. The foregoing valuation was utilized by the defendant in all tax periods at issue in this matter.

The plaintiff s expert, David Lennhoff, determined that the value of the Property as of the Valuation Date was $70 million. Mr. Lennhoff employed and reconciled the cost, income and sales comparison valuation approaches.

The plaintiff s expert, Raymond Dennehy, determined that the value of the Property as of the Valuation Date was $78.9 million. Mr. Dennehy used the income valuation approach.

The defendant’s expert, Michael Baldwin, determined that the value of the Property as of the Valuation Date was $142.3 million. Mr. Baldwin employed and reconciled a modified income approach and the cost approach to attain his valuation.

The court then took a weighted average of the cost and income valuations to arrive at a final valuation for the Property as of the Valuation Date of $92,367,043, which the court rounded to $92 million.

Kohl’s Department Stores v. Town of Rocky Hill (CV 16 6029185 S) February 3, 2022

Re-Trial Decision

This case, involving the valuation of personal property for property tax purposes, is decided by this court due to a remand from a prior decision in the Appellate Court, Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc. v. Town of Rocky Hill, 195 Conn. App. 831, cert. denied, 335 Conn. 917 (2020).  In the prior decision, the Appellate Court held that the town was permitted to base its defense on General Statutes § 12-63 (b) (3) B (6), even though the town had not adopted this statutory provision by ordinance.

The plaintiff taxpayer (Kohl’s) has taken an appeal from the defendant Rocky Hill assessor’s valuation for the tax years 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Kohl’s Department Stores v. Town of Rocky Hill (AC 42021)

Appellate Court remands new trial.

The plaintiff, K Co., appealed to the Superior Court from an assessment by the Board of Assessment Appeals for the defendant town in connection with certain of K Co.’s personal property declarations. The trial court sustained K Co.’s appeal, finding that K Co. was aggrieved by the tax assessment.

The court stated that pursuant to statute (§ 12-63 (b) (2)), the depreciation schedule set forth in § 12-63 (b) (6) can be used by an assessor only if the municipality has, by ordinance, adopted the provisions of that section, and that the defendant had not adopted any such ordinance. On appeal to this court, the defendant claimed that the court’s refusal to consider its assessor’s use of the statutory depreciation schedule in § 12-63 (b) (6) was incorrect and that this legal determination likely influenced the court’s finding of aggrievement and its ultimate determination of valuation.

Held:

1. The use of the statutory depreciation schedule set forth in § 12-63 (b) (6) by the defendant’s assessor was legally correct; the legislature intended that the depreciation schedule set forth in § 12-63 (b) (6) was to be used by municipal assessors for purposes of standardization and uniformity, and, given the intent of the assessor in this matter to use the statutory depreciation schedule in order to achieve town wide consistency and uniformity in the valuation of business personal property, this court could not conclude that the assessor was legally barred from utilizing the statutory schedule.

2. The trial court’s misinterpretation of § 12-63 (b) (2) was harmful and influenced the outcome of the case; the court’s too narrow interpretation of § 12-63 (b) (2), foreclosed its consideration of the defendant’s evidence bearing on value solely because that evidence was based on the statutory depreciation schedule set forth in § 12-63 (b) (6); moreover, the defendant was not required to offer an expert appraiser to counter K Co.’s opinion of value because § 12-63 (b) (2) permitted the assessor to rely solely on the depreciation schedule contained in § 12-63 (b) (6), and, accordingly, the case was remanded for a new trial

Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc vs. Town of Rocky Hill (CV 15-6029185 S), August 7, 2018

Original Appeal – Personal Property Valuation

The plaintiff brings this personal property tax appeal challenging the town of Rocky Hill assessor’s valuation.  The entire appeal revolves around the depreciation tables versus an actual market study by a consultant for the taxpayer.

Decision in favor of the plaintiff utilizing the values determined by the consultant.

Putnam Trust Company & Bank of NY Mellon v. Town of Greenwich (CV 16-6034459 S) January 3, 2022

Greenwich Commercial Building Valuations

This matter is a property tax assessment appeal brought pursuant to General Statutes § 12-117a concerning two properties located in the Town of Greenwich (Greenwich). The plaintiffs have brought a two count complaint dated June 10, 2016 challenging the tax assessment of each of the two properties as of October 1, 2015, with a single count directed to each of the two properties at issue. Both counts assert that Greenwich’s October 1, 2015 valuation exceeded the true and actual market value and was instead grossly excessive, disproportionate and unlawful. A trial to the court was held on November 22, 2021.

Fuelcell Energy, Inc v. Town of Groton (CV 17-6038440 S) December 22, 2021

Fuel Cell Exemption

The plaintiff owns two fuel cells that provide electrical power on the Pfizer campus in the City of Groton, an unconsolidated borough of the defendant Town of Groton (Town), which is  the taxing authority for the City. For Grand List years October 1, 2016 through October 1, 2019, the Town assessed the fuel cells for personal property tax purposes. The plaintiff contends that the assessments are unlawful because fuel cells are categorically exempt under § 12-81 (57). The Town responds that the fuel cells are a cogeneration system because they include a component known as a heat system recovery generator (HSRG). The Town maintains that the assessment was lawful because the Town did not enact an ordinance exempting cogeneration systems.

Thus, the principal question this appeal presents is whether a fuel cell with an HSRG is subject to § 12-81 (57) or § 12-81 (63).

For the following reasons, the court concludes that a fuel cell with an HSRG is categorically exempt under § 12-81 (57). Therefore, the plaintiff is entitled to summary judgment on Counts Three through Eight of its appeal complaint, which allege the plaintiff s exemption and overvaluation claims for Grand List years October 1, 2017 through October 1, 2019. Because of factual disputes about the status of construction of the fuel cells as of October 1, 2016, the court denies both parties’ motions for summary judgment on Counts One and Two.

Hartford Management Solutions, LLC v. Town of Bloomfield (CV 19-6052716) December 20, 2021

Personal Property Audit

This tax appeal challenges the defendant’s assessment of personal property taxes and its imposition of a 25% penalty for the plaintiff’s failure to file an itemized personal property declaration in 2016 and its failure to file any declaration in 2017. The defendant moves for summary judgment on all counts of the complaint.

For the following reasons the court concludes that the defendant is entitled to summary judgment on the plaintiff’s illegal assessment claim under General Statutes § 12-119 1 (Count One) and the plaintiff’s fourteenth amendment equal protection claim (Count Four). Genuine issues of material fact preclude summary judgment on the plaintiff’s overvaluation claim under General Statutes § 12-117a 2 (Count Two) and its claim under General Statutes § 12-53 (Count Three).

The court assumes, without deciding, that the plaintiff’s failure to file a properly itemized declaration in 2016 and any declaration at all in 2017 warrants the imposition of a penalty under § 12-53. However, by law the amount of the penalty must be based on the assessed value of the personal property. Because there is a genuine dispute over the value of the plaintiff’s personal property, the amount of the penalty is also indeterminate at this juncture.

CONCLUSION
For the foregoing reasons, the Town’s motion for summary judgment is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. Partial summary judgment shall enter in favor of the Town on Counts One and Four. Summary judgment is denied as to Counts Two and Three.

Park Place Improvement Association, Inc. v. Town of Glastonbury (CV 19-6053294) December 9, 2021

Open Space Land in a Subdivision – Exempt Status

This matter is a tax appeal contesting the assessment, as of the October 1, 2018 Grand List, of a property located on Park Place at Map: D11, Block: 5240, Lot: W0144 in the Town of Glastonbury. The plaintiff initially appealed the assessment to the Board of Assessment Appeals but was denied relief by the board in a notice dated April 1, 2019. The plaintiff brings a four-count amended complaint, dated November 3, 2021, in this court asserting claims under General Statutes §§ 12-117a and 12-119, respectively, concerning assessments on October 1, 2018, 2019 and 2020. In particular, the plaintiff asserts that the property is exempt from taxation pursuant to General Statutes § 12-81 (7). The court held a trial on November 4, 2021.

Dattilo Family Holdings, LLC v. Town of Westbrook (CV 17-6037358) November 22, 2021

Multi-Family Home Assessment Appeal

The Property is a multi-family, residential, year round structure, consisting of 3 units located on 16,988 square feet of land in an area referred to as “Money Point” surrounded by million dollar single family houses. The plaintiff purchased the Property in December, 2015 for $485,000. The plaintiff’s representative, Claudio Marasco, testified that he had previously represented to the Board of Tax Review that the fair market value of the Property was $600,000. He further testified that the Property was purchased as a rental property and he has previously rented three separate units in the Property. He also testified that he understood from the Town that the legal use of the Property is limited to two units.

The plaintiff filed a timely appeal to the Westbrook Board of Tax Review. On March 15, 2017 the Board of Tax Review denied the appeal, finding that the valuation of the Property “has already been lowered.” At the Board hearing the plaintiff argued that the fair market value of the Property was $600,000.

The plaintiff then timely appealed to this court. The First Count of the complaint alleges a violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 12-117a and the Second Count alleges a violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 12-119. The trial occurred on August 10, 2021 and September 7, 2021. The parties submitted simultaneous briefs on October 15, 2021.

There is also case law that the trial court is charged with the duty of making an independent evaluation of the property involved. E&F Realty v. Commission of Transportation, 173 Conn 247, 253, 377 A. 2d 302(1977). The only reliable evidence presented as to valuation came from Mr. Ryan. With respect to the First Count of the complaint, the court will reduce the Assessor’s value in accordance with Mr. Ryan’s appraisal and find that the Property had a fair market value of $900,000 and a 70% assessed value of $630,000 on October 1, 2016.

There was no evidence of misfeasance or malfeasance by the Assessor or Board or that the valuation was manifestly excessive within the meaning of Connecticut General Statutes § 12-119. Judgment enters in favor of the defendant Town of Westbrook on the Second Count.

H L O Land Ownership Associates Ltd Ptnshp v. City of Hartford (CV 17-6038945 S) October 25, 2021

Surface Parking Lot Valuation

The property consists of 2.08 acres containing 275 to 286 parking spaces. It is located in the City’s Central Business District, just across from Bushnell Park. The property was once the site of a Hilton hotel, which was demolished in the early 1990s. The property has been used exclusively as a parking lot since then.

Based on the evidence, the claims of the parties, and after weighing the opinions of the experts, the court finds that the fair market value of the subject project, as of October 1, 2016 and subsequent years until the next town wide revaluation, was $3,900,000.

Bristol Sports Center DST v. City of Bristol (CV 18-6044354) October 13, 2021

ESPN Facility Assessment Appeal

This matter is a tax appeal contesting the assessment, as of the October 1, 2017 Grand List, of a property located at 383 Middle Street in Bristol. The plaintiff initially appealed the assessment to the Board of Assessment Appeals but was denied relief by the board in a notice dated March 12, 2018. The Plaintiff brings a two count complaint dated April 26, 2018 in this court asserting claims under General Statutes § 12-l 17a and §12-119 respectively. The court held a trial on October 6-7, 2021.

The main building, originally constructed in 1961, serves as an office building and comprises 330,400 square feet of building area. A warehouse building constructed in 1974 comprises 71,712 square feet of building area and is connected to the main building. There are also a 6,000 square foot garage and a 2,587 square foot building that houses a bank branch facility.  ESPN has occupied the Property, at least in part, since 2005.

The appropriate comparable sales valuation method, as analyzed by the defendant’s expert, yielded a higher valuation, however the court found that the income valuation method as analyzed by the defendant’s expert produced the most accurate valuation of the Property. The cost approach is not an appropriate valuation method in this case.

The court finds that the plaintiff has failed to prove that it is aggrieved. The court found that the proper valuation of the Property as of October 1, 2017 was $37,320,000, which exceeds the applicable assessed value of $36,064,500. In reaching its valuation, the court specifically credited, and found most persuasive, the defendant’s expert income valuation of the Property.

The court also found significant that the current owner of the property, a sophisticated real estate investment trust entity, paid $42,175,000 for the Property in December 2013, and that the market for the Property had not materially changed between the plaintiff s purchase and the Valuation Date. The court therefore finds that the plaintiff has failed to prove that the defendant’s October 1, 2017 valuation of the Property at $36,064,500 was excessive.

Accordingly, the plaintiff is not aggrieved, and has failed to prove either of its claims. The court therefore will respectfully enter judgment  for the defendant on both counts.

Mooreland Hill School Inc. v. Town of Berlin (CV 20-6059981 S) October 5, 2021

Tax Exemption on Closed Educational Facility

The school ceased to operate as an educational institution on or about August 31, 2019.  The Plaintiff maintains that the facility is being “maintained for an educational use” and they are hoping to sell or lease it to a third party for future use as a school.

Under § 12-81 (7) the court finds that the facility must be actively used as an educational institution in order to have the exemption granted.

Rainbow Housing Corporation Et Al v. Town of Cromwell (SC 20506) September 1, 2021

Exemption Eligibility under § 12-81 (7) 

Appeal from the decision of the defendant’s Board of Assessment Appeals upholding the denial of the plaintiffs’ claim for a certain real property tax exemption, and for other relief, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of Middlesex and transferred to the judicial district of New Britain, where the court, Hon. Arnold W. Aronson, judge trial referee, who, exercising the powers of the Superior Court, granted the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and rendered judgment thereon, from which the defendant appealed. Affirmed.

Rainbow Housing Corporation Et Al v. Town of Cromwell – Concurrence, Robinson, C.J.

Based on the limited factual record in this case, I conclude that Valor Home provides temporary housing to its clients within the meaning of the plain language of § 12-81 (7) (B). I, therefore, agree with the majority’s conclusion that the trial court properly rendered summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs. Accordingly, I concur in the judgment of the court affirming the trial court’s judgment

Original Appeal

Rainbow Housing Corp & Gilead Community Services Inc. v. Town of Cromwell  (CV 18-6045100), June 7, 2019

The plaintiffs, Rainbow Housing Corporation and Gilead Community Services, Inc. bring this action challenging the decision of the assessor of the town of Cromwell denying their application for a real property tax exemption related to their property known as 461 Main Street in Cromwell.  The property is a group home used to furnish rehabilitative services to inhabitants with mental disabilities, which services are funded in part by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and private donations.

Judgment was entered in favor of the plaintiffs granting their motion for summary judgment. The defendant’s motion for summary judgment is denied. No costs are awarded to any party.

Mozzicato Family, LLC I v. Town of Wethersfield (CV 19-6051630 S) August 18, 2021

Valuation Appeal from 2018 Revaluation

The plaintiff, Mozzicato Family, LLC I (Mozzicato) brings this real estate tax appeal challenging the assessor’s fair market valuation of the subject property located at 709-725 Silas Deane Highway in the town of Wethersfield  (town) for the revaluation year of October 1, 2018 and  subsequent years until the next town wide revaluation.

United States Postal Service & 29 Valley LLP v. Town of Greenwich (CV 17-6039384) August 18, 2021

Exemption of a US Post Office

For many years the post office building in Greenwich, Connecticut had enjoyed tax exempt status as property belonging to the United States. In 2015 a new assessor began employment with the Town of Greenwich and determined that the post office building should no longer enjoy the federal exemption. In this case the plaintiffs appeal from the assessment under Connecticut General Statutes § 12-117a and § 12-119, alleging that this post office building is exempt from local taxation and seeking reimbursement for overpayment of taxes.

“Based on the foregoing, the court finds that the buildings and improvements on the Subject Property belong to the USPS within the meaning of Connecticut General Statutes § 12-81(1) and the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, and are, therefore, exempt from taxation. Estoppel Preventing Change in Exemption.”

Digital 60 & 80 Merritt LLC v. Town of Trumbull (CV 14-6025041 S & CV 15-6029300 S)

Post Judgment Interest

The plaintiff in the above consolidated tax appeals has moved for an award of post judgment interest pursuant to General Statutes § 37-3a. Having also considered the defendant’s objection and the plaintiff’s reply thereto, the motion is denied, for two reasons.  The pending motion presents several issues this court has already considered and the other reason for denying the motion is that the court agrees with the defendant that it lacks authority.

Kenneth A. Black v. Town of West Hartford (AC 43918) July 13, 2021

NADA “Clean Retail Value” versus “Average Retail Price”

The plaintiff appealed to the Superior Court from an assessment by the Board of Assessment Appeals for the defendant town of West Hartford in connection with certain of the plaintiff’s personal property. In his appeal, the plaintiff also named as a defendant the state Office of Policy and Management, claiming that it violated a certain statute (§ 12-71d) in recommending the schedule of motor vehicle values the town used to assess his vehicle. The Office of Policy and Management moved to dismiss the action as against it and the trial court granted the motion on the ground that the action was barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity.

Held that the judgment of the trial court was affirmed on the alternative ground that the plaintiff lacked standing to maintain the action against the Office of Policy and Management because he was not classically aggrieved; the personal and legal interest claimed by the plaintiff, namely, the way in which vehicles are assessed for tax purposes, is common to all taxpayers, and not specific and personal to the plaintiff, and apart from the Office of Policy and Management’s recommendation that municipalities use a certain guide’s schedule to assess vehicles, the plaintiff did not allege that the Office of Policy and Management had any involvement in the assessment of the plaintiff’s vehicle or any other vehicle, the plaintiff recognizing that it was the responsibility of each municipality to perform that function.

AH Min Holding LLC v. City of Hartford (CV 19-6106366 S) July 6, 2021

Termination of Tax Abatement Agreement

In this matter concerning termination of a tax abatement agreement, evidence was presented to the court at a remote bench trial on April 14, 2021. Thereafter, pursuant to a briefing schedule, the parties submitted post-trial briefs on May 7, 2021. After consideration of the evidence and the arguments presented in the parties’ post-trial briefs, the court issues this memorandum of decision.

On May 25, 2018, the City’s Committee on Abatement of Taxes and Assessments issued a letter (termination letter) to Ah Min indicating that the Agreement would be terminated if Ah Min failed to cure alleged Hartford Municipal Code violations within 90 days.

29 Parker Lane v. Town of Madison BAA (CV 19-60926285 S) July 2, 2021

Waterfront Home on Long Island Sound

The issue before the court is whether the plaintiff’s real property, (a waterfront home on the Long Island Sound), has been overvalued by the Assessor of the Town of Madison, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §12-111. The court finds the value of the property is One Million Six Hundred Fifty Thousand and No/100 ($1,650,000.00) Dollars, for the reasons set forth within.

Stanley Falkenstein v. Town of Manchester (CV 20-6060268 S) June 15, 2021

Defective Concrete Foundation Appeal

In this property tax appeal pursuant to General Statutes § 12-117a the plaintiff challenges the defendant’s October 1, 2019 assessment of his property. The plaintiff contends that the defendant overvalued the property because its assessor failed to account for its defective concrete foundation.

It is undisputed that the plaintiff has already received property tax relief for that very condition for Grand List years October 1, 2020 through October 1, 2024 pursuant to General Statutes § 29-265d.  Stipulation of Facts (dated Feb. 2, 2021) (#107.00) (“Stip.”), iii!7-10.

Moreover, the only reason the plaintiff did not obtain such relief for 2019 is because he missed the defendant’s December 31 deadline for filing his § 29-265d application. Nevertheless, the plaintiff contends that he is entitled to use § 12-117a to pursue a reduction in the assessed value of his property for the 2019 Grand List year based on the same defective foundation claim. The defendant responds that the plaintiff is limited to the relief he will receive under § 29-265d.

Following a pretrial in which the precise nature of the parties’ dispute became apparent, the court invited the parties to submit cross-motions for summary judgment based upon a stipulation of facts. See Order (dated Dec. i4, 2020) (#103.00). The parties filed their respective motions and the court heard oral argument on April 26, 2021. The court now concludes that the plaintiff s claim under § 12-117a fails as a matter of law.

LSE Canis Minor LLC v. Town of New Hartford (CV 19-6022324 S) May 28, 2021

LSE Canis Minor LLV v. Town of Barkhamsted (CV 19-6022592 S)

Personal Property Exemption Question – Solar Facility

The present motions concern the plaintiff’s appeals and claims for relief against the towns of New Hartford (Docket No. CV-19-6022324-S) (New Hartford appeal) (#116) and Barkhamsted (Docket No. CV-19-6022592-S) (Barkhamsted appeal) (#114), which were brought pursuant to General Statutes §§ 12-117a and 12-119.

The question before the court is whether the plaintiff’s motions for summary judgment as to counts three and four of its amended complaint against New Hartford (#117), and counts one and two of its amended complaint against Barkhamsted (#115), should be granted on the basis that the personal property that is the subject of the appeal is exempt from taxation pursuant to General Statutes § 12-81 (57) (D).

The defendants New Hartford and Barkhamsted have filed their own motions for summary judgment (#121 and #119, respectively), as to the same counts on the basis that the personal property is subject to taxation and is not exempt under that statute. The court notes that the present inquiry regarding § 12-81 (57) (D) appears to be a matter of first impression in Connecticut.

Wilton Campus 1691 v. Wilton (Appellate) AC 40697, August 14, 2019

Superior Court Decision May 26, 2021. (Upheld Appellate Court)

Income and Expense Penalty Appeal.

The plaintiff property owners filed six appeals from the decisions of the Board of Assessment Appeals of the defendant town of Wilton denying their appeals from the town’s tax assessments of the plaintiffs’ properties. Pursuant to statute (§ 12-63c [d]), the plaintiffs were required to provide the assessor with annual income and expense reports regarding their properties by June 1, 2014. The defendant received those reports past the deadline but failed to add any late filing penalties, pursuant to
§ 12-63c (d), before taking the oath in signing the grand list on January 1, 2015. Instead, as had been his practice, the assessor imposed late filing penalties on the plaintiffs retroactively, pursuant to the statute (§ 12-60) that governs corrections to the grand list due to clerical omission or mistake, and issued certificates of change for the subject properties in April, 2015.

Decision...because the assessor was without the statutory authority to impose the late filing penalties after he signed the grand list, the late filing penalties are null and void. Because we agree and conclude that the assessor may not collect a tax on an assessment that is untimely adjusted by the imposition of late filing penalties (i.e., after the assessor signed the 2014 grand list), it can hardly be said that the statutorily unauthorized delay of the imposition of the late filing penalties was a mere procedural irregularity, which, if uncorrected, would result in no harm to the plaintiffs. The judgments are reversed and the case is remanded with direction to render judgments for the plaintiffs.

Redding Life Care, LLC v. Town of Redding (CV 13-6021904 S) April 7, 2021

Superior Court Order May 21, 2021

Ruling on Plaintiff’s Motion to Preclude Expert  (#227.00)

This tax appeal has been pending since 2013. There are many reasons for the delay, none of which are particularly relevant to this ruling except that they prompted the court, Cardani, J., to issue a clear and unequivocal scheduling order on July 23, 2020. That order required the parties to exchange appraisals on or before October 30, 2020. The order further stated, “further extensions of the scheduling order are unlikely to be granted given the age of this matter.”

The defendant Town of Redding (“Town”) did not disclose its expert appraisal until late December 2020-nearly two months after the deadline. The plaintiff now moves for an order precluding the testimony and report of the Town’s expert. The Town objects and argues that the untimely disclosure did not prejudice the plaintiff and that preclusion would be inequitable under the facts and circumstances of the case.

Airgas USA LLC v. Town of Windsor (CV 20-6059844 S) March 19, 2021

Manufacturing Equipment Exemption

In this tax appeal Airgas USA, LLC (“Airgas”), challenges the Town of Windsor’s (“Town”) denial of a claimed personal property tax exemption. Airgas supplies atmospheric gases, such a hydrogen and nitrogen, for use in various manufacturing processes. The gases are stored in large tanks which Airgas owns and leases to manufacturing companies, including Aero Gear, Inc. (“Aero Gear”), located in Windsor. Airgas claims that the storage tanks leased to Aero Gear, and many other companies across the state, are exempt from personal property tax under General Statutes § 12-81 (76). That statute exempts “machinery” and “equipment” installed in a manufacturing facility, if the “predominant use of [the machinery and equipment] . . . is for manufacturing.” “Equipment” means “any device separate from machinery but essential to a manufacturing  . . . process.” Airgas argues that the storage tanks are “equipment” and, therefore, are tax-exempt personal property.

Because the relevant material facts are not disputed, the court invited the parties to file cross-motions for summary judgment. The parties did so and the court heard oral argument on March 12, 2021. For the following reasons, the court concludes as a matter of law that the storage tanks are “equipment” and thus exempt from personal property tax.

Steven R. Astrove, et al v. Town of Norfolk (CV 19 6022555 S) March 10, 2021

This is a real estate tax appeal taken pursuant to General Statutes § 12-117a from the assessment of property on the Norfolk Grand List of October 1, 2018.  The plaintiffs, Steven R. Astrove and Christina L Astrove, own property (“the property”) which was appraised by the Norfolk Tax Assessor at a 100% value of $356,700, and at a 70% assessed value of $249,690. The plaintiffs filed a timely appeal of their assessment to the Board of Assessment Appeals of the Town of Norfolk which reduced the 100% value to $317,060 and the 70% assessed value to $221,940. This appeal followed. The trial took place on January 27, 2021.

The property is an undeveloped residentially-zoned  building lot containing 2.05 acres in the Town of Norfolk. It has about 200 feet of road frontage along the east side of Tower Hill Road and about 200 feet of water frontage along the westerly shore of Doolittle Lake (“the lake”).

Brunswick School, Inc v. Town of Greenwich (CV 18-6037555 S) February 9, 2021

Taxable to Exempt – Taxes due

This case arises out of a disagreement between the parties concerning the appropriate interpretation of Connecticut General Statutes § 12-81b which authorizes municipalities to set an earlier property tax exemption date, by ordinance, than the property tax exemption date that would otherwise be applicable under C.G.S. § 12-89. The plaintiff argues that 12-81b authorizes a municipality to enact an ordinance which would provide that any tax or prorated amount of tax payable after the property becomes tax exempt would be eliminated by the exemption and that in fact Greenwich has adopted such an ordinance.

The defendant argues that § 12-81b authorizes a municipality to exempt a property from municipal taxation as of the date of its acquisition with regard to the assessment year but that taxes due and payable after the exemption but based upon the assessment prior to the exemption are not affected. The defendant also argues that the Town of Greenwich did not adopt any ordinance to the contrary.

The plaintiffs position would allow the municipality not only to accelerate the exemption to the date of acquisition but would allow the municipality to abate taxes that had become liens on the property more than a year before the acquisition. Interlude held that this was not the intent of the legislature and that determination controls the outcome of this case.

Accordingly, the plaintiff s motion for summary judgment must be and is denied.

Seramonte Associates, LLC v. Town of Hamden (AC 42770) February 2, 2021

Income & Expense Penalty Appeal

Appeal from the decision of the defendant’s Board of Assessment Appeals denying the plaintiff’s appeal of a penalty imposed by the defendant’s assessor and added to tax assessments on certain of the plaintiff’s real properties, and for other relief, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of New Haven, where the court, S. Richards, J., granted the defendant’s motions for summary judgment and to strike, and rendered judgment for the defendant, from which the plaintiff appealed to this court. Affirmed.

The plaintiff, Seramonte Associates, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting summary judgment in favor of the defendant, the town of Hamden, as to count one of the plaintiff’s complaint and granting the defendant’s motion to strike the plaintiff’s constitutional claims in count two. On appeal, the plaintiff claims, with respect to count one, that the court erred in holding that the word ‘‘submit’’ as used in General Statutes § 12-63c requires that certain tax forms have to be received by the defendant by June 1, and, with respect to count two, that the court erred in granting the defendant’s motion to strike, because the penalty imposed for the plaintiff’s late submission of the tax forms amounts to a fine that violates the excessive fines clauses of the federal and the state constitutions. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.

YPS Family v. City of Hartford (CV 17-176037545 S) January 28, 2021

Court Stipulation Violated (Contempt charged)

The plaintiff moves the court to find the City of Hartford (“City”) in contempt for allegedly violating a court-approved stipulation of value in a property tax appeal. The stipulation established an agreed-upon fair market and assessed value of the subject property-an apartment building and parking lot-and included the following key provision: “The parties hereto further stipulate and agree that said fair market valuation for the October 1, 2016 Grand List shall not change until the next city-wide revaluation except in the event that improvements are made to the Subject Property, it is demolished or partially or totally destroyed or as may be otherwise permitted by ” (Emphasis added):

Several months after the stipulation, the plaintiff changed the ownership structure of the apartment building to a condominium.  Actual ownership did not change, however, change in ownership structure allegedly resulted in a change in the income and the property, both of which may affect the property’s value, the City reassessed value higher than the stipulated value.

The court stresses that it does not decide whether, absent the parties’ stipulation, a change in ownership structure of real property would be grounds for an interim revaluation under 12-55 (b). The court resolves the motion before it solely as a matter of contract interpretation. “A contract must be construed to effectuate the intent of the parties.” Falcigno v. Falcigno, 199 Conn. App. 663, 691, 238 A.3d 60 (2020).

For the foregoing reasons, the plaintiff s motion for contempt is denied.  However, the court determines that the City’s interim revaluation of the subject property based on the change in ownership structure is not permitted under the terms of the stipulation.

Lockload, LLC v. Town of Branford (CV 20-6105481) January 13, 2021

Time period to file an appeal to Superior Court – State Statute § 12-117a

This action is a tax appeal. The defendant town has filed a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter because the plaintiff did not file its complaint within two months of the mailing of the defendant’s notice of action as required by General Statutes § 12-117a. The plaintiff asserts that the time period was stayed by Governor Lamont’s Executive Orders 7G and/or 7I.

The plaintiff s time to file an appeal with the Superior Court expired on May 20, 2020, pursuant to § 12-117a. An appeal filed thereafter must be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

Connecticut Supreme Court Hearing, December 11, 2020

Rainbow Housing Corporation et. al v. Town of Cromwell (video of hearing)

Original Memorandum of Decision

Rainbow Housing Corp & Gilead Community Services Inc. v. Town of Cromwell  CV 186045100, June 7, 2019

CT Community Nonprofit Alliance, Inc v. Town of Rocky Hill (CV 18-6048266) December 8, 2020

Memorandum of Decision : RE: Count Two; Motion To Strike (#102)

The plaintiff s two-count complaint challenges the defendant’s denial of an application for a property tax exemption, which resulted in a property tax assessment significantly higher than it otherwise would have been. Count One asserts a claim for wrongful assessment under General Statutes § 12-119. Count Two requests a declaratory judgment, per General Statutes § 52-29, that the plaintiff is organized for charitable purposes and that the subject property should be exempt from real property taxation.

The court grants the motion to strike Count Two, albeit for somewhat different reasons than the defendant asserts.

Peerless Realty, Inc. v. City of Stamford (CV 18-6034688) December 7, 2020

Tax Refunds greater than 3 Years – State Statute § 12-60

Plaintiff, Peerless Realty Inc., has filed a two count complaint against the City of Stamford and the Stamford Tax Assessor alleging, in count one, that the defendants have collected excess taxes resulting in financial damages to the plaintiff and seeks restitution, and in count two, that the defendants have been unjustly enriched.

The defendants assert that there exist no triable issues of fact with respect to these claims.

Bassilakis, Harry v. Town of Bloomfield (CV 20-6060278 S) November 17, 2020

Physical Inspection of Farmland

In this tax appeal the plaintiff challenges the Town of Bloomfield’s (“Town”) revocation of a longstanding farmland exemption for the subject property. As part of the discovery process, the Town seeks a court order authorizing it to inspect the subject property. The plaintiff objects. For the following reasons, the court overrules the plaintiff s objection.

Capital For Change, Inc v. Town of Wallingford (CV 18-6080550) November 2, 2020

Denial of a Tax Exemption

The tax appeal now before the court presents the issue whether the subject property, owned by the appellant, Capital For Change, Inc. (“C4C”), is exempt from taxation pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 12-81(7). For reasons discussed in the decision, the subject property is not exempt.

Most of the pertinent facts have been stipulated by the parties. The subject property (“Property”) is located at 10 Alexander Drive in Wallingford. C4C operates its business at the Property together with the business of its subsidiary, CT Energy Efficiency Financing Co. (“CEEFCO”). Both C4C and CEEFCO are exempt from Federal taxation pursuant to § 501( c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Doris Zelinsky et al v. Town of Branford (CV 20-6013530) October 13, 2020

Equal Protection Violation

Present before the court is the defendants’ motion to strike the plaintiff’s Third Count of the plaintiff’s complaint, which alleges the violation of the Equal Protection clauses of the U. S. and the Connecticut Constitutions. The defendant argues that the plaintiff’s Count Three is legally insufficient, it does not allege the requisite element of disparate treatment, hence is defective as a matter of law to support a claim of the said violation of Equal Protection clauses of the U.S. and the Connecticut  Constitutions. The plaintiffs oppose the subject motion. The Motion to Strike Count Three of the plaintiff’s complaint is hereby granted for the reasons set forth in the Memorandum of Decision.

GHJCC Swim & Racquet Club LLC v. Town of Bloomfield (CV 186044898 S) September 16, 2020

Denial of a Tax Exemption

The plaintiff, GHJCC SWIM & RACQUET CLUB LLC (Club), in its amended complaint filed on November 30, 2018, alleges the following facts.  The plaintiff is an organization described in 26 U.S.C. § 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  The plaintiff claims to be a nonprofit entity, and, pursuant to General Statutes § 12-81 (7), its quadrennial application for a property exemption should have been accepted by the assessor as of October 1, 2017.

This action is an appeal by the plaintiff from the assessor’s denial of its application for a tax exemption for property located at 4 Duncaster Road in Bloomfield. The plaintiff claims that the Club’s sole corporate member is the Joyce D. and Andrew J. Mandell Greater Hartford Jewish Community Center, Inc. (Community Center).

Digital 60 & 80 Merritt LLC v. Town of Trumbull (CV 14025041 S) & (CV 15029300 S) August 4, 2020

Overvaluation

These consolidated cases are tax appeals brought by the plaintiff, Digital 60 & 80 Merritt, LLC, pursuant to General Statutes § 12-117a, contesting the valuation of its property at 60 Merritt Boulevard in the town of Trumbull (town) on the town’s Grand Lists for October 1, 2013, and October 1, 2014, and the refusal of the town’s Board of Assessment Appeals to reduce the corresponding tax assessments. The appeals were tried before the court for twenty-three days between October 2018 and March 2019. The court heard testimony from the town’s assessor, two experts with opinions on valuation, and two representatives of the plaintiff with knowledge about the plaintiff, the facility in question, and its operations. The parties introduced many exhibits into evidence, the plaintiff s labeled with capital letters and the defendant’s with numbers, including written appraisal opinions from each one’s expert. On December  19, 2018, the court and counsel also conducted a site visit and view of the property.

After the close of evidence, the parties submitted proposed findings of facts and briefs, appeared for argument in December 2019, and submitted post-argument briefs in February 2020. The matter is now ready for decision. The town appraiser appraised the property as having a fair market value of $145,446,000 as of October 1, 2013, and October 1, 2014. As discussed below, the court finds that the plaintiff has proven that the property was overvalued for tax assessment purposes and is therefore aggrieved. The court further finds that the fair market value of the fee simple interest in 60 Merritt Boulevard, reflecting the physical condition of that property as of October 1, 2013 and October 1, 2014, and based on market conditions as of October 1, 2011, was $109,000,000.

David Godbout v. Tony Attanasio Et Al.  (AC 42683) July 14, 2020

FOIA Violation

The plaintiff is a resident of East Lyme (town).  In 2012, he filed a complaint with the FOIC against the board and the town  alleging that they had violated the state’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), General Statutes § 1-200 et seq., ‘‘by not permitting [the plaintiff] or others with assessment appeals to view, listen, observe and attend the hearings of other persons appealing their motor vehicle tax assessments.’’ Godbout v. Board of Assessment Appeals, Freedom of Information Commission, Docket No. FIC 2012–504 (August 28, 2013). The FOIC, after a hearing, concluded that the board had violated General Statutes § 1-225 (a) FOIA’s open meeting provision—as alleged by the plaintiff, and the FOIC ordered the town and board to comply strictly with § 1-225 in the future in conducting hearings and meetings concerning tax assessment appeals.

The plaintiff sought to recover monetary relief pursuant to statute (§ 12-170) for the alleged misconduct of the defendants, members of the town board of assessment appeals related to his motor vehicle tax assessment appeal. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s action on the grounds that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies and had failed to allege that the defendants had engaged in some unlawful act or the omission of a necessary act, allegations that were required to support an action pursuant to § 12-170. The court granted the motion to dismiss on both grounds, from which the plaintiff appealed to this court.

Contrary to the plaintiff’s argument on appeal, and consistent with the ruling of the trial court, we conclude that the complaint fails to allege any act or omission by an individual defendant, that, if established as true, could satisfy the plaintiff’s burden of demonstrating an unlawful act or omission necessary to prevail under § 12-170. Accordingly, the trial court properly determined that the complaint was insufficiently pleaded, and, because the plaintiff never raised his inability to replead as an issue before the trial court, the court’s granting of the motion to dismiss was not reversible
error. The form of the judgment is improper; the judgment dismissing the complaint is reversed, and the case is remanded with direction to render judgment for the defendants.

In this opinion the other judges concurred.

BRE Knight SH CT Owner, LLC vs. Town of Glastonbury (CV 196044652 S) June 10, 2020

Overvaluation

The subject property was built in the year 2000, specifically as a memory care facility. Of particular importance here is that BRE purchased the subject property as a memory care facility. This purchase appears to be an arms-length transaction that occurred on April 4, 2017, close to the revaluation date of October 1, 2017. The recorded price was $16,295,291. This purchase was part of a sixty-three facility, multi-state transaction and included tangible and intangible assets.

On October 1, 2017, the assessor for the town of Glastonbury conducted a revaluation of the subject property increasing its fair market value from $6,347,714 to $13,156,600. The plaintiff’s appraiser, Courtney B. Lees, was of the opinion that the fair market value of the subject property, as of October 1, 2017, was $9,500,000. The town’s appraiser, James K. Tellatin, was of the opinion that the fair market value of the subject property, as of October 1, 2017, was
$12,540,000.

Both appraisers considered the highest and best use of the subject premises, as of October 1, 2017, to be land improved with a memory care facility.

Considering all of the factors provided to the court, dealing with the real estate (land and improvements) as part of the memory care facility distinct from the furniture fixtures and equipment, and the business value attached to a well run operation of the subject facility, the value of the subject real estate is found to be $10,500,000.

Accordingly, judgement may enter in favor of the plaintiff without costs to either party.

Duracell US Operations Inc. vs. Town of Bethel (CV 186045322 S) May 6, 2020

Overvaluation

Duracell U.S. Operations, Inc. (Duracell) appeals the. real estate tax assessment issued by the Town of Bethel (Bethel)on real estate located at 14 Research Drive in Bethel (Subject Property) on the grand lists for October 1, 2017, 2018, and 2019. The litigation is brought in three counts. Count One alleges excessive valuation and is brought pursuant to General Statutes § 12-117a. The second count alleges disproportionate tax burden and is brought pursuant to § 12-117a. The third count alleges wrongful assessment and is brought pursuant to§ 12-119. The matter was tried to the court over three days on March  10-12, 2020.

Two experts produced reports and testified: Bruce Hunter and Peter Vimini. Both experts took extreme positions that the court did not find accurate or believable. The testimony and reports of both experts were partially believable and partially unbelievable.

The court finds that Duracell is aggrieved. Based upon the evidence presented, the court found that, as of the Valuation Date, the true value of the Subject Property was $50 million, and therefore the appropriate assessment is $35 million. The foregoing valuation and assessment as found by the court should have applied in each of 2017, 2018, and 2019. In contrast, as of the Valuation Date, Bethel determined that the market value for the Subject Property was $60,858,300 and assessed a value of $42,600,810. Bethel continued the foregoing valuation and assessment for 2018 and 2019.

The court therefore finds that the tax assessor’s action in valuing and assessing the Subject Property for the grand lists in 2017, 2018 and 2019 was erroneous and overvalued the Subject Property. Duracell has met its burden of establishing that the assessor’s valuation and assessment were excessive. As such, Duracell is aggrieved.

Wind Colebrook South, LLC v. Town of Colebrook (CV166019649 S) March 16, 2020

Real Property or Personal Property and Valuation Thereof

The plaintiff has filed a municipal property tax appeal in which the primary items of property under appeal are two wind turbines and certain associated equipment located on the plaintiff’s land on Flagg Hill Road in Colebrook, Connecticut (the “property”) which transmit electricity generated by the wind turbines to the electrical power grid. Construction of the wind turbines and associated equipment was completed in 2015, and were first subject to municipal property taxation on the grand list of October 1, 2015. For that grand list year, the town’s assessor classified the two wind turbines and associated equipment and the land to which they were affixed as real estate subject to taxation under General Statutes §12-64. The plaintiff filed an appeal of the assessor’s classification and assessment with the town’s Board of Assessment Appeals.

More specifically, the plaintiff appeals the assessment and taxation of the real property at 29 Flagg Hill Road, including the wind turbines, and the assessment and taxation of its personal property. It does not appeal the assessment and taxation of the adjoining real property at 17 Flagg Hill Road but does appeal the assessment of some of the personal property located there.

CONCLUSION

The plaintiff has failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence its allegations as to counts one, two, three, four, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, and twelve. Judgment shall enter in favor of the defendant as to those counts.

The plaintiff has proven its allegations as to count five relative to the illegality of the imposition of the penalty relative to the October 1, 2016 personal property declaration. Judgment shall enter in favor of the plaintiff as to that count. The defendant is ordered to refund to the plaintiff, the amount of the penalty paid by the plaintiff with four (4) percent interest from the date it was paid.

 

GAIS Colchester LLC v. Town of Colchester (CV176037379 S) March 6, 2020

Overvaluation

The plaintiff, GAIA Colchester, LLC (“GAIA”) brings this tax appeal challenging the assessor’s valuation of $5,814,300.00 for the 2016 Grand List placed upon its real estate known as Colchester Courtyards, a multifamily property containing 92 dwelling units and located a 12 Balaban Road, Colchester, Connecticut (the “Property”). GAIA acquired the Property on August 4, 2010 for $5,400,000.

It is a basic principle of law governing tax appeals that it is the burden of the taxpayer to show that he or she has been aggrieved by the action of the assessor over-assessing the property. Ireland v. Wethersfield, 242 Conn. 550, 556, 698 A.2 d 888 (1997). It is also recognized by our case law that where the trial court finds that the taxpayer’s appraiser is unpersuasive, judgment may be entered in favor of the municipality on this basis alone. Id, at 557-58. See also Nutmeg Housing Development Corporation v. Town of Colchester, 324 Conn. l, 151 A.3 d 358(2016).

For the foregoing reasons, the court finds that taxpayer’s appraiser unpersuasive and the taxpayer has not established aggrievement and enters judgment in favor of the defendant.

Kohl’s Department Stores v. Town of Rocky Hill (AC 42021)

Appellate Court remands new trial.

The plaintiff, K Co., appealed to the Superior Court from an assessment by the Board of Assessment Appeals for the defendant town in connection with certain of K Co.’s personal property declarations. The trial court sustained K Co.’s appeal, finding that K Co. was aggrieved by the tax assessment.

The court stated that pursuant to statute (§ 12-63 (b) (2)), the depreciation schedule set forth in § 12-63 (b) (6) can be used by an assessor only if the municipality has, by ordinance, adopted the provisions of that section, and that the defendant had not adopted any such ordinance. On appeal to this court, the defendant claimed that the court’s refusal to consider its assessor’s use of the statutory depreciation schedule in § 12-63 (b) (6) was incorrect and that this legal determination likely influenced the court’s finding of aggrievement and its ultimate determination of valuation.

Held:

1. The use of the statutory depreciation schedule set forth in § 12-63 (b) (6) by the defendant’s assessor was legally correct; the legislature intended that the depreciation schedule set forth in § 12-63 (b) (6) was to be used by municipal assessors for purposes of standardization and uniformity, and, given the intent of the assessor in this matter to use the statutory depreciation schedule in order to achieve town wide consistency and uniformity in the valuation of business personal property, this court could not conclude that the assessor was legally barred from utilizing the statutory schedule.

2. The trial court’s misinterpretation of § 12-63 (b) (2) was harmful and influenced the outcome of the case; the court’s too narrow interpretation of § 12-63 (b) (2), foreclosed its consideration of the defendant’s evidence bearing on value solely because that evidence was based on the statutory depreciation schedule set forth in § 12-63 (b) (6); moreover, the defendant was not required to offer an expert appraiser to counter K Co.’s opinion of value because § 12-63 (b) (2) permitted the assessor to rely solely on the depreciation schedule contained in § 12-63 (b) (6), and, accordingly, the case was remanded for a new trial

CIL Community Resources, Inc v. City of Hartford Et Al CV 17-6040041 S, November 7, 2019

Denial of a Tax Exemption

The plaintiff, CIL Community Resources, Inc. (CIL-CR), brings this action contesting the action of the assessor for the city of Hartford, Connecticut (city) denying a tax exemption to the plaintiff for its property, located at 75 Charter Oak Avenue in Hartford, for the city’s Grand List of October 1, 2016.

On October 15, 2013, the plaintiff had submitted a Tax Exempt Organization Application for the subject property, which the city initially accepted as exempt from taxation pursuant to General Statutes § 12-81 (7)1  as property being used for charitable purposes. The plaintiff later filed a 2017 renewal application for its charitable exemption previously granted in 2013.

The assessor, however, assessed the subject property on the Grand List of October l, 2016, at $5,481,100 because the assessor had concluded that the plaintiff had leased a portion of the subject property to other nonprofit charitable organizations, and therefore, the property did not qualify for an exemption.

Because the court finds that, in the present case, the sole purpose of CIL-CR is to lease commercial office space to charitable. organizations-and non-charitable organizations, this leasing does not serve an exclusive charitable purpose and, therefore, the city has sustained its burden to show that, as a matter of law, it is entitled to a judgment.

Accordingly, judgment may enter in favor of the defendants city of Hartford and Board of Assessment Appeals, without costs to either party.

Connecticut Radio Fellowship Incorporated v. City of Middletown CV 186044961 S, November 6, 2019

Denial of a Tax Exemption

The plaintiff owns and operates “an FCC licensed radio station, WIHS, which is a non-profit, non-commercial, listener supported religious, educational and public service radio station, located at 104.9MHz on the FM band.” Pl.’s Am. Compl. 2, Background,  2, No.  105. The main transmitter of the radio station is located on Round Hill Road. The radio station that operates the transmitter is located on South Main Street.

The plaintiff filed a Quadrennial Report (M-3) with the town’s assessor prior to October 1, 2017, claiming that six parcels of land were exempt from a property tax because of the plaintiffs religious and educational programs provided by its radio station as a public service. The plaintiff contends that the vacant parcels are incidental to the operation of the radio station.

Of the six parcels of land listed in the Quadrennial Report, the assessor had granted an exemption as to two of the parcels and denied the exemption as to the remaining four parcels.

In summary, the Judge essentially split the difference and said that the 11 acre parcel adjacent to their tax exempt lot on Round Hill Road, and their 5.46 acre lot adjacent to their South Main Parcel are exempt from tax, while the other parcels C & D (totaling 6.4 acres) do not qualify for an exemption and are taxable.

The Judge found that since there was activity on the two parcels that emanated from the education purpose of the radio station, it qualifies as an exclusive use for an educational purpose.

Redding Life Care, LLC v. Town of Redding  CV 136021904 S, September 25, 2019

Motion for a Protective Order of a Non-Party Real Estate Expert

In this real estate tax appeal, the defendant, the town of Redding (town), seeks to depose a non-party real estate expert, David K Salinas (Salinas), who had previously rendered an opinion of value for the purpose of the plaintiff obtaining financing unrelated to a revaluation of the subject property. Salinas now moves for a protective order prohibiting the town from taking his deposition.

The formulation of the rule of law by the Appellate Court was made at the time that the Appellate Court did not recognize that it lacked subject jurisdiction  to entertain Salinas’ appeal because the order of the pretrial judge was not a final order from which an appeal could be taken. The issue before this court can be resolved by following the recommended guideline of the Supreme Court at Redding Life, 331 Conn. 743-44: “Once Salinas attends the deposition, objects on the record to specific questions, and a trial court decides which, if any, questions he must answer, the courts will be better positioned to determine not only whether an unretained expert privilege exists, but if such a privilege even applies in this case.  As the record now stands, Salinas is requesting this court to decide this issue in a vacuum.”

Whether an unretained expert privilege exists will be decided by our courts following the procedure outlined above.

Accordingly, Salinas’ motion for a protective order is denied.

Wilton Campus 1691 v. Wilton (Appellate) AC 40697, August 14, 2019

Income and Expense Penalty Appeal.

The plaintiff property owners filed six appeals from the decisions of the Board of Assessment Appeals of the defendant town of Wilton denying their appeals from the town’s tax assessments of the plaintiffs’ properties. Pursuant to statute (§ 12-63c [d]), the plaintiffs were required to provide the assessor with annual income and expense reports regarding their properties by June 1, 2014. The defendant received those reports past the deadline but failed to add any late filing penalties, pursuant to
§ 12-63c (d), before taking the oath in signing the grand list on January 1, 2015. Instead, as had been his practice, the assessor imposed late filing penalties on the plaintiffs retroactively, pursuant to the statute (§ 12-60) that governs corrections to the grand list due to clerical omission or mistake, and issued certificates of change for the subject properties in April, 2015.

Decision...because the assessor was without the statutory authority to impose the late filing penalties after he signed the grand list, the late filing penalties are null and void. Because we agree and conclude that the assessor may not collect a tax on an assessment that is untimely adjusted by the imposition of late filing penalties (i.e., after the assessor signed the 2014 grand list), it can hardly be said that the statutorily unauthorized delay of the imposition of the late filing penalties was a mere procedural irregularity, which, if uncorrected, would result in no harm to the plaintiffs. The judgments are reversed and the case is remanded with direction to render judgments for the plaintiffs.

873 WB LLC v. City of Hartford  CV 176037885, June 27, 2019

The plaintiff, 873 WB LLC, brings this tax appeal challenging the assessment of its property located at 873 West Boulevard in the City of Hartford on the grand list of October 1, 2016. The city’s assessor determined that the fair market value of the subject property was $11,205,500.

The subject property is a large apartment building located in the west end of Hartford near the West Hartford town line. The plaintiff purchased the subject building on December 3, 2015 for $11,550,000.  The subject building, constructed in 1971, consists of an apartment building containing 165 units with a mixture of 8 studio apartments, 120 one-bedroom apartments and 37 two- bedroom apartments.

The plaintiff claims that it overpaid for the subject property by approximately $3,000,000. The plaintiff presented at trial the testimony of its property manager, Paul Fornaby. He testified that the high price paid for the subject was “based on overly optimistic financial numbers proffered by the listing broker, as well as the plaintiff’s general unfamiliarity with the Hartford real estate market.” (Plaintiff’s 5/6/19 brief, p. 8.)

..“Recognizing that it is not the city’s burden to defend the action of the assessor in determining the assessment value of the subject…”

… the court finds that the fair market value of the subject, as of October 1, 2016, is $10,250,000.

Rainbow Housing Corp & Gilead Community Services Inc. v. Town of Cromwell  CV 186045100, June 7, 2019

The plaintiffs, Rainbow Housing Corporation and Gilead Community Services, Inc. bring this action challenging the decision of the assessor of the town of Cromwell denying their application for a real property tax exemption related to their property known as 461 Main Street in Cromwell.  The property is a group home used to furnish rehabilitative services to inhabitants with mental disabilities, which services are funded in part by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and private donations.

Judgment was entered in favor of the plaintiffs granting their motion for summary judgment. The defendant’s motion for summary judgment is denied. No costs are awarded to any party.

Tuohy v. Town of Groton  SC – 20019, May 28, 2019

Supreme Court upholds the trial court decision.

The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court in favor of Defendants and upholding the legality of assessments of Plaintiffs’ properties following a revaluation – which was a mass appraisal – conducted by the Town of Groton as a direct equalization measure in order to ensure that Plaintiffs’ neighborhood was not undertaxed relative to others in the municipality, holding that the trial court properly determined that Plaintiffs’ assessments were not manifestly excessive.

Plaintiffs argued that Defendants violated Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-62 and numerous regulations promulgated by the state Office of Policy and Management when they applied a flat, undifferentiated adjustment factor that increased the assessed value of all properties in Groton Long Point by a certain percentage without individualized consideration of the unique characteristics of each property. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Defendants validly incorporated ratio studies and direct equalization via adjustment factors to neighborhood strata into the revaluation in order to ensure that Groton Long Point bore its fair share of the Town’s municipal tax burden relative to the Town’s other neighborhoods.

Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc vs. Town of Rocky Hill CV 15-6029185S, August 7, 2018

The plaintiff brings this personal property tax appeal challenging the town of Rocky Hill assessor’s valuation.  The entire appeal revolves around the depreciation tables versus an actual market study by a consultant for the taxpayer.

Decision in favor of the plaintiff utilizing the values determined by the consultant.

Walgreen Eastern Company, Inc v. Town of West Hartford  SC – 19750, July 24, 2018

Supreme Court upholds the trial court decision.


On March 14, 2017, Murtha Cullina LLP filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) in an appeal pending before the Connecticut Supreme Court, Walgreen Eastern Company, Inc. v. Town of West Hartford.  Click here to read the entire amicus brief.

The case involves a commercial property located in West Hartford that is leased to a Walgreens drug store. The Town and Walgreens disagreed about the property’s actual fair market value by almost two million dollars. The trial court accepted the Town’s valuation which was premised upon a conclusion that the property’s highest and best use was as a retail drug store based in part on the existing contract rent under the Walgreens lease. The appeal raises challenges to the statutory requirement that municipal assessor’s consider contract rent in valuing rental properties and the specificity of highest and best use that may properly be applied in determining actual fair market value. The Supreme Court’s decision in this appeal could have broad implications for municipal tax assessments throughout the state.

According to the amicus brief filed by Murtha Cullina Attorneys Kari L. Olson and Proloy K. Das, “CCM advocates for approval of the use by municipal assessors of contract rents as a tool in arriving at the fair market value of income-producing properties, especially where, as here, the contract rents fairly reflect the highest and best use and intrinsic market value of the property.”

Walgreen Eastern Company, Inc v. Town of West Hartford.  CV 12-6015514S, December 29, 2015.  This case is a real estate tax appeal concerning commercial rental property leased by Walgreen Eastern Company, Inc.  The subject property is a 1.45 acre improved parcel with a Walgreen Pharmacy.  For purposes of the October 1, 2011 property revaluation, the town appraised the property at $5,020,000.  The plaintiff appealed to the board of assessment appeals, which declined to reduce the assessment.  The plaintiff’s appraisers valued the property at $3,000,000.  The town’s appraiser valued the property at $4,900,000.  The testimony and the final decision revolved around the concepts of fee simple, leased fee and market versus contract rent. It also found that “… a market for the sales of pharmacies does exist and that sales of property leased to Walgreens are the most comparable.”  The court finds that the plaintiff has proven aggrievement but accepts the town’s appraisal and finds the value of the property as of October 1, 2011 is $4,900,000.

Charles D. Gianetti v. Adam Dunsby Et. Al.  (Board of Selectmen) Appellate Decision, June 26, 2018 (AC 40419)

Charles D. Gianetti v. Town of Easton,  CV 15-5030791S, April 20, 2017

The matter before the court is the plaintiff’s claim that he is eligible for tax relief by the Town of Easton under the terms of the “2009 Tax Relief for the Elderly Ordinance” of said Town.

The parties have raised several issues, including whether there is the remedy of appeal available to the plaintiff; whether the statute of limitations bars this claim; whether there is a valid claim of res adjudicate controlling the resolution of plaintiffs claim and finally whether the plaintiff’s claim can be successful on its merits.

The court has examined the evidence submitted in this case and arguments raised by the Briefs of the parties.  It is the courts determination that the plaintiff s claim fails on its merits.

Michael C. & Corinne E. Harrington v. Town of West Hartford CV 17-6038032S, April 20, 2018

The plaintiffs, Michael C. Harrington and Corinne E. Harrington (the Harringtons), are self-represented and bring this real estate tax appeal contesting the valuation placed upon their home at 16 Walbridge Road in the town of West Hartford (town) for the revaluation year of October 1, 2016. On the revaluation year of October 1, 2016, the town’s assessor determined that the fair market value of the subject property was $546,900 (assessed at $382,830).

The Harringtons’ main argument is that their home is very similar to that of 19 Walbridge Road, a house located across the street from the subject. This is the only comparable that was used by the taxpayer.  19 Walbridge Road was valued by the assessor, as of October 1, 2016, at $510,000, which equates to an assessment value of $357,000.

The decision was in favor of the Town. The plaintiff is not an appraiser, did not hire an appraiser and did not prove that they were aggrieved by the assessor’s opinion of value.

R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. v. Town of Avon CV 14-6025599, April 20, 2018

Industrial printing facility disputes its market value from the 2013 revaluation.  This value was changed by the Court based on the differences in the opposing appraisers adjustments.  Very detailed description of the adjustments presented to the judge and his decision.

B. Devine v. City of Middletown CV 14-5015997S, March 8, 2018

Single Family residential assessment appeal from the 2013 revaluation where the property owner refused a physical inspection by the Assessor and the City’s appraiser.  The appraiser hired by the plaintiff was allowed access.

The plaintiff emphatically denied the defendant’s appraiser permission to inspect the subject property for the purpose of determining the subject’s fair market value.  However, the plaintiff claims the subject property was in such poor condition that the value of the property had decreased.

Decision: a small adjustment was granted, however, none of the issues relating to condition were allowed since entry was refused.

100 Berlin Holdings v. Town of Cromwell  CV 16-6033452S, January 12, 2018

Personal Property ownership and the filing of the declaration by the prior owner are central to this appeal.  The prior owner (Shaner) filed the declaration and paid the subsequent tax without disclosing that the property was sold before the October 1, 2015 grand list. The new owner (100 Berlin Holdings) appealed the assessment saying they were never sent a declaration.

In summary, it was the failure of Shaner to inform the assessor of the change in ownership that led Shaner to file the declaration, which itself, caused the assessor to rely on this filing as to the hotel’s ownership,  In addition to the assessor being misled by Shaner, the personal property taxes were paid without objection. Since the personal property tax for the 10/1/2015 Grand List was paid voluntarily without fault on the part of the assessor, 100 Berlin cannot be considered an aggrieved party. Accordingly, the town’s motion to dismiss is granted.

Brenda I. Tirado v. City of Torrington.  AC 39273, January 9, 2018

The plaintiff sought damages for the allegedly improper addition of her motor vehicle to the 2004 grand list of the defendant city, Torrington, resulting in a tax assessment on the vehicle. In 2010, the city of Waterbury issued a certificate of change for its 2004 grand list, removing the plaintiff’s vehicle therefrom, after receiving information from the plaintiff that she resided in Torrington at that time. In adding the plaintiff’s vehicle to its 2004 grand list in 2010, the defendant also issued a certificate of change. The plaintiff claimed, inter alia, that the defendant issued its certificate of change after the three year statute of limitations (§ 12-57) had run. The trial court dismissed the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, concluding that the plaintiff had failed to exhaust her available administrative remedies before she filed her action pursuant to the statute (§ 12-117a) governing appeals to the Superior Court from municipal boards of assessment appeals, and that she had failed to file her action within one year of the assessment if she had proceeded under the statute (§ 12-119) governing applications for relief when property has been wrongfully assessed.

David H. Faile, Jr. v. Town of Stratford; Paul A. Lange v. Town of Stratford; N759ZD, LLC v. Town of Stratford. AC 38912, October 17, 2017

In this joint tax appeal, the plaintiffs, David H. Faile, Jr., Paul A. Lange, and N759ZD, LLC (LLC), appeal from the judgments of  nonsuit, rendered by the trial court, in favor of the defendant, the town of Stratford (town). They also appeal from the court’s denial of their motions to open the nonsuits. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court’s findings that they violated its orders were clearly erroneous, and that, even if we assume, arguendo, that they did violate the orders, the court abused its discretion in rending judgments of nonsuit. We agree with the plaintiffs. Therefore, we reverse the judgments of the trial court.

Wilton Campus 1691, LLC v. Town of Wilton. CV 15-6030508S, July 12, 2017

Tax assessor’s duty to impose assessment penalties before the list is finalized is mandatory rather than discretionary, and an improper deferral until after finalization will delay penalty assessments until the following grand list.

Groton Long Point v. Town of Groton. CV 12-6050023S, July 5, 2017

This case is a class action residential real property tax application for relief pursuant to General Statutes § 12-119.1  The plaintiff class comprises: all owners of taxable residential real property with buildings thereon in the Groton Long Point assessment area of the Town of Groton (“town” or “Groton”) between October 1, 2011 and July 1, 2013, excluding those owners who individually appealed their real property tax assessments to the Superior Court and whose appeals have reached a final judgment.  (#201.00.)  A trial to the court took place on October 21, 28, and 30, 2016. For the reasons stated in the memorandum, the court finds for the defendant.

MSK Properties LLC v. City of Hartford. CV 15-6029158S, July 3, 2017

Part 1 – Sole member of a single-member LLC has standing to prosecute a real estate tax assessment appeal on behalf of the LLC.

Part 2 – Party who purchases rental property has standing to appeal an outstanding penalty imposed for the seller’s late filing with the assessor of an annual statement of rental income and expense.

Part 3 – Ten percent penalty for the late filing of a statement of income and expenses relating to rental property may be imposed even for a filing made only one day late.

Part 4 – Imposition of a tax penalty for a late filing cannot be challenged on a theory of unjust enrichment, regardless of how brief the delay may have been.

Charles D. Gianetti v. Adam Dunsby Et. Al. (Board of Selectmen) Appellate Decision, June 26, 2018

Charles D. Gianetti v. Town of Easton CV 15-5030791S, April 20, 2017

The matter before the court is the plaintiff’s claim that he is eligible for tax relief by the Town of Easton under the terms of the “2009 Tax Relief for the Elderly Ordinance” of said Town.

The parties have raised several issues, including whether there is the remedy of appeal available to the plaintiff; whether the statute of limitations bars this claim; whether there is a valid claim of res adjudicate controlling the resolution of plaintiffs claim and finally whether the plaintiff’s claim can be successful on its merits.

The court has examined the evidence submitted in this case and arguments raised by the Briefs of the parties.  It is the courts determination that the plaintiff s claim fails on its merits.

Kobyluck Sand & Gravel, Inc. v. Town of Montville.  CV 15-6024120S, November 15, 2016.

Part 1 – Tax Assessor May Not Deny an Exemption Based Solely on a Taxpayer’s Failure to Provide All Information Requested on the Assessor’s Standard Exemption Claim Form. Rather, the assessor must make a decision on an exemption claim based on “the best information available.” This opinion holds that an assessor and a Board of Assessment Appeals improperly denied an exemption claim under the “manufacturing machinery and equipment” exemption, CGS §12-12-81 (72), based solely on the taxpayer’s failure to provide all of the valuation information requested on the assessor’s standard manufacturing exemption form.

Part 2 – Manufacturing Equipment Stored in One Town and Temporarily Moved and Used at Job Sites in Other Towns Is Not Entitled in the Town of Storage to the “Manufacturing Machinery and Storage” Exemption from the Personal Property Tax.

Coventry Imperial Development v. Town of Coventry.  CV 16-6029662S, April 1, 2016.  Plaintiff Imperial Development, LLC appeals from the decision of the Board of Assessment Appeals of the defendant Town of Coventry (town) approving the removal of the plaintiff’s property from its classification as forest land.  The owner applied for sub-division, which was approved, the project was bonded, and roads were built.  The Town took the property out of PA 490 once the roads were built and the court ruled that the property should remain in PA 490. PA 490 as we know is to preserve farms, forest and open space (this property was a forest).  Once a developer posts a bond and builds roads, the development has started. The Assessor only took out the lots in the particular phase as it was built, he left the balance of the lot in PA 490. There were about 15 lots involved. The court decided that the property should remain classified as forest land. The judge relied heavily on the Griswold Airport v. Madison case
Walgreen Eastern Company, Inc v. Town of West Hartford.  CV 12-6015514S, December 29, 2015.  This case is a real estate tax appeal concerning commercial rental property leased by Walgreen Eastern Company, Inc.  The subject property is a 1.45 acre improved parcel with a Walgreen Pharmacy.  For purposes of the October 1, 2011 property revaluation, the town appraised the property at $5,020,000.  The plaintiff appealed to the board of assessment appeals, which declined to reduce the assessment.  The plaintiff’s appraisers valued the property at $3,000,000.  The town’s appraiser valued the property at $4,900,000.  The testimony and the final decision revolved around the concepts of fee simple, leased fee and market versus contract rent. It also found that “… a market for the sales of pharmacies does exist and that sales of property leased to Walgreens are the most comparable.”  The court finds that the plaintiff has proven aggrievement but accepts the town’s appraisal and finds the value of the property as of October 1, 2011 is $4,900,000.

Supreme Court of Connecticut – SC 19750 

On March 14, 2017, Murtha Cullina LLP filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) in an appeal pending before the Connecticut Supreme Court, Walgreen Eastern Company, Inc. v. Town of West Hartford.  Click here to read the entire amicus brief.

The case involves a commercial property located in West Hartford that is leased to a Walgreens drug store. The Town and Walgreens disagreed about the property’s actual fair market value by almost two million dollars. The trial court accepted the Town’s valuation which was premised upon a conclusion that the property’s highest and best use was as a retail drug store based in part on the existing contract rent under the Walgreens lease. The appeal raises challenges to the statutory requirement that municipal assessor’s consider contract rent in valuing rental properties and the specificity of highest and best use that may properly be applied in determining actual fair market value. The Supreme Court’s decision in this appeal could have broad implications for municipal tax assessments throughout the state.

According to the amicus brief filed by Murtha Cullina Attorneys Kari L. Olson and Proloy K. Das, “CCM advocates for approval of the use by municipal assessors of contract rents as a tool in arriving at the fair market value of income-producing properties, especially where, as here, the contract rents fairly reflect the highest and best use and intrinsic market value of the property.”

Reznik v. City of Milford. CV 126028137, December 11, 2015. This is a real estate tax appeal in which the plaintiffs, Alan M. Reznik and Elizabeth Kaye Reznik (Rezniks) challenge the valuation of their properly at 19 Beach Avenue in the city of Milford as determined by the assessor for the city of Milford on the grand list of October 1, 2012 related back to the last revaluation year of October 1, 2011. On June 11, 2012, the Rezniks purchased 19 Beach Avenue for 1,825,000. On August 7, 2012, the Rezniks wrote a letter to the city of Milford notifying the city that the purchase price included $100,000 worth of furniture that was purchased from the sellers. (Plaintiffs’ Exhibit 5). The Rezniks informed the city in this letter that the purchase price for the furniture should not be included in the assessment of the house. The assessor denied their request. The Rezniks have not produced any documentation, other than their letter of August 7, 2012, to support their claim that the purchase price for the subject property included the sale of the furniture for $100,000. The assessor had previously determined that the fair market value of 19 Beach Avenue, as of October 1, 2011 was $1,362,900.  Subsequently, for the grand list of October 1, 2012, a non-revaluation year, the assessor increased the assessment of the subject property to reflect a fair market valuation of $1,654,140. The assessor’s change in valuation of the subject property for the list of October 1, 2012 came about because of the practice of the Milford assessor, in his “watch tower” role, to comply with the provisions of General Statutes §12-55, which requires an assessor, prior to subscribing to the yearly grand list, to “equalize the assessment of property in the town, if necessary . . . .”

As to the second count of the plaintiffs’ complaint, based on §12-119,judgment may enter in favor of the defendant.  As to the first count based on §12-117a, judgment may enter in favor of the plaintiffs finding the fair market value of the subject property as of October 1, 2011 to be 1,560,000 without costs to either party.

Sweet Potatoes, LLC dba v. The Town of Seymour et al. CV146016022S  March 27, 2015 The defendants, town of Seymour, its board of assessment appeals and tax assessor, move to dismiss the plaintiff’s action claiming that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction because the plaintiff failed to exhaust its administrative remedies.   More particularly, the defendants contend that the plaintiff failed to file “a written appeal in proper form” in accordance with General Statutes § 12–111(a). The facts necessary to the determination of the motion are undisputed.   The plaintiff operates a barbeque restaurant at 225 West Street in Seymour, Connecticut.   The plaintiff received a “Personal Property Assessment Notice” concerning the restaurant for the assessment year of 2012 by notice issued by the tax assessor’s office on February 7, 2013.   The notice set forth the then current assessed value of the plaintiff’s personal property as $1,050, and noted the prior assessed value as $1,170.   Pursuant to § 12–111(a), any appeal of the 2012 assessment to the board of assessment appeals required that the appeal be filed in writing and no later than February 20, 2013.   The plaintiff did not appeal the 2012 personal property assessment under that statutory section.

The defendants do not claim that the appeal was not timely filed.   Admittedly, it was filed within the statutory time frame.   Therefore, the court holds that the plaintiff’s appeal form substantially complied with the requirements of § 12–111(a) despite not including the plaintiff’s estimate of the property value or date of signature.

The defendants are not prejudiced by this finding because § 12–111(a) further provides for an appeal hearing before the board, held shortly after the filing of the appeal, in which involves the issue of the value of the assessed property.   Because the appeal was timely filed, the lack of a date of the plaintiff’s signature also does not result in any prejudice to the defendants.   Under the factual circumstances of this case, a hearing is warranted where the plaintiff’s personal property assessment in 2013 represented a substantial increase from its assessment in the 2012 tax year, and the plaintiff timely pursued its appeal remedy.   In view of the foregoing, the defendants’ motion to dismiss is denied.

Afscme, Council 4, Local 818-052 v Town of Marlborough (SC 18865) August 20, 2013. The primary issue in this certified appeal is whether an arbitration panel properly ordered the plaintiff, the town of Marlborough (town), to reinstate a former town assessor, Emily Chaponis, to her position because the termination of her employment, which had followed the expiration of her term of office, violated the applicable collective bargaining agreement (agreement). The town appeals, following our grant of certification,1 from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the trial court’s denial of the town’s application to vacate the arbitration award (award) in which the arbitrators found that the town had violated the agreement when it terminated the employment of the town assessor without just cause. Marlborough v.AFSCME, Council 4, Local 818-052, 130 Conn. App. 556, 557–58, 23 A.3d 798 (2011).

On appeal, the town argues that General Statutes § 9-187 (a)2 clearly applies to the position of town assessor and that the arbitrators’ decision to the contrary was in manifest disregard of the law and was unenforceable. We conclude that, the award ordering Chaponis’ reinstatement after the statutory expiration of her term of office contravened the plain and unambiguous mandates of the statutory scheme governing the term of office for municipal officers and that the award is, therefore, unenforceable. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court.

Afscme, Council 4, Local 1303-325 v Town of Westbrook (SC 18969) August 20, 2013. The determinative question in this appeal is whether the trial court properly limited the scope of its review when it denied an application, filed by the plaintiff, AFSCME, Council 4, Local 1303-325 (union), to vacate an arbitration award (award), which concluded that a grievance challenging the decision of the defendant, the town of Westbrook (town), not to reappoint its assessor, Ivan Kuvalanka, to a successive term of office was not arbitrable. Specifically, the union claims on appeal that the trial court improperly limited its scope of review and incorrectly concluded that the town’s decision to terminate Kuvalanka’s employment upon the expiration of his term of office was not governed by the terms of the applicable collective bargaining agreement (agreement). We disagree and conclude that the trial court properly limited the scope of its review when considering the union’s application to vacate the award and properly determined that the union did not establish grounds to vacate the award. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.
Kasica vs Town of Columbia Supreme Court, (SC 18968) June 25, 2013.  The primary issue in this tax appeal is whether a municipal assessor has the authority, under General Statutes § 12-55 (b), to conduct an interim assessment of a property and increase its valuation based on partially completed construction. The defendant, the town of Columbia (town), appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Gene Kasica, in his appeal from the decision of the town’s Board of Assessment Appeals (board) upholding the town assessor’s interim valuations of the plaintiff’s property under § 12-55. On appeal, the town claims that the trial court improperly applied General Statutes (Rev. to 2007) § 12-53a, to the facts of the present case and incorrectly concluded that, because § 12-53a only applies to ‘‘completed new construction,’’ the assessor did not have statutory authority to assign value to the partially completed construction on the grand lists for the years in question.   We agree with the town and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.

Superior Court Decision, October 6, 2011

Commissioner of Public Safety v. Freedom of Information Commission; Town of North Stonington v. FOI Commision; Judicial Branch v. FOI Commission; AFSCME Council 4 v. FOI Commission. The sole issue in these appeals is whether General Statutes § 1-217,1 which prohibits public agencies from disclosing, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (act); General Statutes § 1-200 et seq.; the home addresses of various federal, state and local government officials and employees, is applicable to grand lists of motor vehicles and their component data provided to town assessors by the department of motor vehicles (department) pursuant to General Statutes (Rev. to 2009) § 14-163.3

Decision: We conclude that § 1-217 applies to motor vehicle grand lists and their component data provided to the town assessors pursuant to § 14-163. Accordingly, we reverse the judgments of the trial court.

Redding Life Care, LLC v. Town of Redding  Superior Court, judicial district of New Britain, Docket No. CV 084019333; (February 23, 2011. Aronson, J.T.R.) Valuation of a Continuing Care Retirement Facility (CCRC).  The key issue was the valuation approach used by the taxpayer’s appraiser.  Going concern valuation vs. the Income Approach.
Marketing Drive LLC v. Norwalk, CV 084014423S  The matter before the court is an application of Marketing Drive, LLC (the “Applicant”) brought pursuant to Conn. Gen.Stat. § 12-117a, constituted an appeal from the doings of the Board of Assessment Appeals of the City of Norwalk (“Board”). The Applicant claims that the Assessor of the City of Norwalk (“Assessor”), on the assessment dates for 2007 and 2008, overvalued the personal property of the Applicant located at 800 Connecticut Avenue in Norwalk by not assessing it at 70% of its true and actual value as of the two assessment dates for those years. After appealing the assessment for 2007 to the Board (Conn.Gen.Stat. § 12-111) with no relief, the Applicant appealed to this court (Conn.Gen.Stat. § 117a). Similarly, the Applicant appealed to the Board for the 2008 assessment and after similar results, amended this appeal to the court to include the 2008 assessment (Conn.Gen.Stat. § 117a). The Applicant prays that the personal property assessment for those years be reduced accordingly
Town of Windham v. St. Joseph’s Living Center Supreme Court, (SC 17916) March 24,2009.  The 3-2 decision affirmed the ability to tax the nursing home, but exempted the chapel portion. This appeal was on the 2003-2008 Grand Lists, if lost, would have required refunds totaling over $800,000, including 10% interest. It was a real “David v. Goliath” case.  This case may provide a “blueprint” of sorts for facilities such as these to be exempt in the future. The Supreme Court has almost redefined “charitable”.
Griswold Airport, Inc. v Madison, Supreme Court, (SC 17938) 12/23/2008. The primary issue before the court is whether a municipal tax assessor’s termination of an open space classification for property on the basis of its proposed use, as opposed to its current use, was proper. The outcome of this appeal turns on the proper interpretation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2003) § 12-504h, a provision that gives municipal tax assessors discretionary authority to remove open space classifications previously placed on real property within their municipalities when the use of that property has changed.
Snake Meadow Club, Inc. v. Killingly, Superior Court, judicial district of Windham at Putnam, Docket No. CV 07 4006068S (July 24, 2008, Aronson, J.T.R.) (assessor under no statutory authority to recognize agreement between plaintiff and AT&T to consider cell tower erected on plaintiff’s property as personalty rather than realty).
Hartford/Windsor Healthcare Properties, LLC v. Hartford, Superior Court, judicial district of New Britain, Docket No. CV 074014469;Trinity Hill Realty, Inc. v. Hartford, Superior Court, judicial district of New Britain, Docket No. CV 074014470 (April 2, 2008, Aronson, J.T.R.) (nursing home classified as commercial, not residential or apartment property).
Breezy Knoll Association, Inc. v. Town of Morris (SC 17815) – May 13, 2008
HealthSouth Corp. v. Waterbury, Superior Court, judicial district of New Britain, Docket No. CV 054011048; HealthSouth Corp. v. Madison, Superior Court, judicial district of New Britain, Docket No. CV 054010916; HealthSouth Corp. v. Fairfield, Superior Court, judicial district of Fairfield at Bridgeport, Docket No. CV 054010807; HealthSouth Corp. v. Willimantic, Superior Court, judicial district of Windham at Putnam, Docket No. CV 054002794; HealthSouth Corp. v. Norwalk, Superior Court, judicial district of Stamford/Norwalk at Stamford, Docket No. CV 054006234 (March 13, 2008, Aronson, J.T.R.).
Aspetuck Land Trust, Inc. v. Bridgeport, Superior Court, judicial district of Fairfield at Bridgeport, Docket No. CV 064016847 (March 3, 2008, Cohn, J.) (whether undeveloped island property held for charitable purpose was entitled to tax exemption).
Connecticut Post Limited Partnership v. MilfordSuperior Court, judicial district of Ansonia/Milford at Derby, Docket No. CV 074008134. The issue in this motion is whether an appeal to the Board of Assessment Appeals was timely received by the Board. The plaintiff claims that its putting in the mail by the date set for filing appeals complied with the requirement that the application be filed by a certain date.
Burlington Coat Realty v. East Windsor, Superior Court, judicial district of New Britain, Docket No. CV 064011423S (January 3, 2008, Aronson, JTR) (valuation of owner/occupied big box retail property)
Goodspeed Airport, LLC v. East Haddam, Superior Court, judicial district of Middlesex at Middletown, Docket Nos. CV 040104527S; CV 064005318S; CV 064005319S (December 20, 2007, Aronson, JTR) (valuation of commercial utility airport partly classified as open space).
J.C. Penney v. Manchester, Superior Court, judicial district of New Britain, Docket No. CV 064010562S (November 13, 2007, Aronson, JTR) (issue involved the timely filing of a personal property declaration for a large commercial distribution center).
Dominion Nuclear v. Waterford, Superior Court, judicial district of New London, Docket No. CV 03 0566126 (November 8, 2007, Aronson, JTR) (valuation of a nuclear power plant).
Sullivan v. Bridgeport, Superior Court, judicial district of Fairfield at Bridgeport, Docket No. CV 04 4000507 (August 2, 2007, Aronson, JTR) (valuation of eighty-year-old single-family house converted into three apartments).
Sullivan v. Bridgeport, Superior Court, judicial district of New Britain, Docket No. CV 07 4013444 (August 2, 2007, Aronson, JTR) (personal property consisting of stoves and refrigerators located in leased apartments are not exempt from taxation as household furniture pursuant to General Statutes § 12-81 (31)).
PJM & Associates, LC v. Bridgeport, Superior Court, judicial district of Fairfield at Bridgeport, Docket No. CV 05 4009473; Bridgeport Towers, LLC v. Bridgeport, Superior Court, judicial district of Fairfield at Bridgeport, Docket No. CV 05 4009474 (July 27, 2007, Aronson, JTR) (interpretation of the penalty provision in General Statutes § 12-63c dealing with taxpayers’ failure to provide the assessor with rental income and expense information).
Krevis v. Bridgeport, Superior Court, judicial district of Fairfield at Bridgeport, Docket No. CV 06 4014350 (July 17, 2007, Aronson, JTR) (declaratory judgment denied and judgment entered in favor of the defendant; one-year statute of limitations in General Statutes § 12-119 applicable to the facts in this case; plaintiff failed to overcome the statutory presumption that his motor vehicles are sited for tax purposes at his residence in Bridgeport).
Sakon v. Glastonbury, Superior Court, Judicial District of New Britain, Docket Nos. CV 054003783 & 054006620 (April 27, 2007, Aronson, JTR) (highest and best use of three, contiguous parcels of undeveloped land, owned or controlled by the same taxpayer, located in a planned travel zone, were for commercial use, not for a park).
Moutinho v. Bridgeport, Superior Court, judicial district of Fairfield at Bridgeport, Docket No. CV 04 0412557 (April 11, 2007, Aronson, JTR) (valuation of 1.86 acre parcel of land located in a light industrial zone improved with two buildings consisting of an office/warehouse and garage).
Griswold Airport v. Madison, Superior Court, judicial district of New Britain, Docket No. CV 05 4011562 (March 30, 2007, Aronson, JTR) (assessor was without authority to terminate open space classification of airport and then revalue property for condominium use).
Rizzuto v. DRS, Superior Court, judicial district of New Britain, Docket No. CV 06 4008351 (February 28, 2007, Aronson, JTR) (Burden of Proof involving change of domicile is by clear and convincing evidence).
St. Joseph Living Center v. Windham, Superior Court, judicial district of Windham at Putnam, Docket No. CV 04 0072963 (February 23, 2007, Aronson, JTR) (church-affiliated nursing home facility not exempt from property taxes because it was not used exclusively for charitable purpose).
Sheridan v. Killingly, Superior Court, judicial district of Windham at Putnam, Docket No. CV 03 007 0359 (January 12, 2007, Aronson, JTR) (on remand, valuation of 202-acre site with 31 acres divided into 274 lots; issue of the valuation of leasehold interests in the lots).
Middletown Oxford L.P. v. Middletown, Superior Court, judicial district of Middlesex at Middletown, Docket No. CV 04 0104632 (December 11, 2006, Aronson, JTR) (valuation of property containing thirteen, three-story walk-up, garden-style apartment buildings with 336 units).
Hotshoe Enterprises, LLC v. Hartford, Superior Court, Judicial District of New Britain, Docket No. CV 05 4007951 (November 30, 2006, Aronson, JTR) (condominium hangar units located on a state-owned airport and leased to private individuals exempt from municipal property taxes pursuant to § 12-64 (c)).
Dominion Nuclear v. Waterford, Superior Court, judicial district of New Britain, Docket No. CV 03 0566126 (April 7, 2006, Aronson, JTR) (transferability of exemption).
Executive Square v. Wethersfield, Superior Court, judicial district of New Britain, Docket No. CV 04 4000074 (January 4, 2006, Aronson, JTR) (valuation of 12-story housing complex for low and moderate income elderly residents where the issue was whether, under the income approach, contract rent or market rent should be used in determining net income).
Dominion Nuclear v. Waterford, Superior Court, judicial district of New Britain, Docket No. CV 03 0566126 (May 27, 2005, Aronson, JTR) (Statutory exemption cannot be transferred unless specifically provided for in the statute; the role of the assessor in relationship to the grant of statutory exemption).