Did you know: The Fire District Charges Property Taxes

Is the Town getting a discount on water rates?

If you live in the Village (or more precisely within the Norwich Fire District), then you have an extra property tax bill, one due at the end of the week. The Town is tax-exempt. Does that mean the Town is getting a discount on water rates? 

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The Fire District property tax rate is seven cents, which is on top of the approximately 51 cents all of Norwich pays for municipal services.* In 2017, the Fire District raised $127,032 in taxes, according to the Town Report. That was about one-third of its total revenue in 2017. 

Town property is tax exempt, said the Norwich Fire District Treasurer in an email. As a result, I think, the Town is getting something of a free lunch, or at least, lunch at a discount. The Fire District, as currently run, is in essence a water company. Revenues cover operations. Since taxes are a third of revenues, it is as if the Town gets a 33% discount on its water rates, as do all tax-exempt properties. Do commercial water companies do this for non-profits and local governments? 

Maybe my thinking is flawed. Are tax-exempt properties paying their fair share of water charges? Please let me know by commenting below or email me at norwichobserver@gmail.com. 

*  The Fire District has its own Grand List. That Grand List is a subset of the Town's and contains 381 parcels, predominately 329 residential and 27 commercial parcels. Total taxable value of the Fire District Grand List in 2018 is $182,454,600  That is about 24% of the Norwich Grand List, which has a total taxable value of $745,621,600. The Norwich Grand List has 1561 parcels. 

POSTED: 09.26.2018 

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