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    Office Of The Mayor
    Mayor's Monday Message

    Dear Friends:

    I joined many of you last week in condemning the profoundly ignorant and hurtful comments of Hartford Courant cartoonist Bob Englehart regarding urban education. In a blog on the Courant’s website, Englehart targeted “inner-city poor and minority-filled schools,” and insulted thousands of students and families when he stated “for the most part, losers raise losers.”

    On Friday, I invited Bob Englehart to visit New Haven, to meet our students, and to see for himself the hard work, dedication, and consistently astounding achievements of our students. None of our students are losers. We expect all of our students to graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and the workplace. Through the nationally-recognized New Haven School Change initiative and New Haven Promise, we are closing the achievement gap, increasing our graduation rates, and providing students the supports and financial resources they need to succeed in college. Bob Englehart could not have been more wrong.

    New Haven Resident Job Fair

    I’m pleased to announce that more than two dozen employers have signed up to participate in our New Haven Resident Job Fair on February 23. In order to participate in the job fair, job seekers must participate in a pre-screening session. Our first pre-screening session last week at Monterey Place was a big success, and 43 New Haven residents completed the session and will now be eligible to participate in the job fair. If you missed the pre-screening session last week and still want to attend the job fair, don’t worry, we’ve got two additional sessions this week. Details are as follows:

    • Tuesday, February 14th at 10 a.m.-Quinnipiac Terrace Community Room (2 John Wilkinson Drive)

    • Thursday, February 16th at 3:30 p.m.-Wilson Library (303 Washington Avenue)

    All attendees must bring a resume, references, photo identification, and proof of New Haven residence. Attendees must also be on-time and dressed in appropriate work attire. Each pre-screening session will cover basic interviewing skills, workplace professionalism, and how to overcome barriers to employment. For more information or to RSVP, please call 203-946-7670 or email newhavenworks@gmail.com.

    New Haven Promise Applications Available Now Online

    Starting this year, New Haven Promise applications will be available online only. To apply, click this link ( db.newhavenpromise.org ) and register your account. You can apply as soon as you get the confirmation email from Promise. The Class of 2012 is eligible for up to 50 percent of tuition coverage at in-state public colleges and universities and up to $1250 at in-state private nonprofit colleges and universities.

    This year, 115 New Haven students received New Haven Promise scholarships to attend 16 different colleges and universities across Connecticut. Another 2,300 students have signed Promise pledges, promising to earn good grades, maintain good attendance and demonstrate the good civic behavior required to earn a Promise scholarship.

    Strong Grand List Growth

    The 2011 Grand List was certified January 31, representing a 16.71 percent increase or $860,854,588 in the net grand list over 2010. While the majority of the change can be attributed to the effects of property revaluation, approximately $139 million of that growth has been identified as net new growth, a testament to the City’s strong economic development initiatives. When just considering net new growth, the grand list increased 2.7 percent, again outpacing other Connecticut municipalities that experienced relatively flat growth or declines. If applying the 2010 mill rate of 43.9, that net new growth would generate more than $6 million in new tax revenue.

    The majority of new growth is attributable to personal property growth, with the two most substantial increases related to the PSEG’s peaking power plant on Waterfront Street and United Illuminating’s modernization of the Grand Avenue switching station and the Union Avenue substation. PSEG’s project added $39,751,951 to the Grand List. United Illuminating’s personal property assessment increased by nearly $59 million.

    Approximately $722 million of the net increase is attributable to property revaluation. Of the 20,855 residential properties in New Haven, 46 percent increased in value in the latest revaluation, while 54 percent decreased. When considering only owner-occupied residential properties, 49 percent increased while 51 percent decreased. While more properties decreased in value, the size of the increases outpaced the size of the decreases.

    I have no intention of seeking any delay from the state legislature in the implementation of property revaluation, however it makes sense to consider whether there are any responsible steps to be taken to mitigate some of revaluation’s more significant impacts.

    I will be hosting two public meetings this month to discuss revaluation options. The details are:

    Wednesday, February 22. 6:30 p.m. Edgewood School.

    Tuesday, February 28. 6:30 p.m. Wilbur Cross High School.

    Reminder: Tax assessment appeals to Board of Assessment Appeals due February 21

    Applications for tax assessment appeals before the Board of Assessment Appeals must be received by February 21. Per state statute, any application received after the deadline cannot be processed.

    Applications are available on the City’s website, in the Assessor's Office, and in the City Clerk's Office.

    Applications can be mailed to the Board of Assessment Appeals care of the Assessor's Office at 165 Church Street, dropped off in person at the Assessor's Office, or emailed. In order to submit an assessment appeals form online, applicants must print out and fill-in the form and sign it, then scan the completed form and include it as an attachment and e-mail to NHBAA@newhavenct.net. It is strongly suggested that applicants use certified mail if sending an appeal via the postal service.

    Once applications are received, hearing dates will be sent to applicants by mail or e-mail, depending on the property owner's preference stated in the application. A list of scheduled hearings will be posted on the Board of Assessment Appeals website. Hearings will be held in March, per state statute. The Board of Assessment Appeals will deliberate in April, and applicants will receive a decision within two weeks after the close of deliberations. Property owners who are dissatisfied with a BAA decision may appeal to the Superior Court.

    Applicants should make sure they bring all evidence supporting their estimated value to the hearing. This includes photographs, measurements, appraisals, or any other evidence that may support the case. Applicants will lose their appeal if they do not attend the hearing or do not present evidence supporting their claim.

    The Board of Assessment Appeals is an independent body, established through state legislation over 300 years ago to resolve property value disputes between municipalities and property owners. Every municipality is required to establish a BAA. Current members include Jeffrey Granoff (chair), Kenneth Janke, Christopher Mordecai, and Cordalie Benoit.

    The Board of Assessment Appeals website can be found at http://www.cityofnewhaven.com/Government/AssessmentAppeals.asp

    Very truly yours,

    John DeStefano, Jr.


    Contact Name: Elizabeth Benton

    Contact Email: ebenton@newhavenct.net

    Contact Phone: 203-946-8200


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