One of the most difficult conversations that I have as a real estate agent is explaining the property tax system in the City of Hartford.
Most of the time the subject comes up as I’m touring around with a buyer and trying to cover various home buying subjects as we drive from one property to the next. My client will casually ask about taxes, expecting an answer along the lines of “They’re low/high compared to other towns.” In most towns I can give an answer like that, and then also talk about where that town is in the revaluation process.
When we’re touring Hartford, my answer is usually, “They’re complicated; would you like the short version or the long version?” To their credit, most buyers seem to ask for the long version. They want to know how it works, and what possibilities exist in the future. After all, they’re going to be on the hook for making the tax payments if they buy a house in the City. And as their agent, I feel it’s my responsibility to make sure my buyers have all the information they need to make an informed decision.
I’ve spent a considerable amount of time trying to understand exactly how the taxes work in Hartford.
I’ve talked to the City Assessor and various staff members to work through the details of the current system at different points of time. I’ve talked to our elected officials at both the City and State level to hear the arguments for why they have advocated for different implementations. I’ve sat in on presentations and negotiations between different constituency groups as they hash out a forward looking plan.
Despite all this effort, I still cannot neatly summarize property taxes in the City of Hartford for someone with basic municipal property tax knowledge. It’s just too complicated. I can’t even build a spreadsheet/model that will predict the coming year’s taxes based on an expected City budget. There are too many moving parts.
The best I can do is create a resource, so that those interested in learning about how property taxes work in the City of Hartford have a central place to go for information. I’ve made an effort to summarize as best I can, and I’ve also collected and sorted links to over 50 articles, presentations, and videos on the subject dating back to 2006.
The City of Hartford: Property Taxes page is a work in progress, and I definitely appreciate feedback and comments on how to make it more helpful, more accurate, and generally better.