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Letter: Fairfield is No Longer Homespun, Multi-Generational Community

The following letter was submitted by Kate Daniello, a member of the group Fairfield for Good Government.

I was three months pregnant when I moved to Fairfield in 1984. Jacky Durrell was the First Selectman. Other than the arrival of my family, some of the big events that year included: the opening of the Route 8 Expressway, the first major north-south artery in the state; the creation of 84 two-acre home sites in a development called “The Ridge” and continued heated debate about going to one high school due to a shrinking student population.The Fairfield Store was in its 63rd year, and Mercurio’s was still across the street.  According to a NY Times article in December 1985, property taxes on a $500,000 home, based then on 45 percent of its value and a mill rate of 25.20, were $5,670.

Fairfield was a “homespun” town back then, in the sense that as many as three generations of local families were still thriving here. Most of our teachers, librarians, police and fire chiefs all lived in the community, along with my heating oil delivery man and many local businesses owners.  

Now, 28 years later, the exact opposite is the case.

Most of the town’s employees, from the First Selectman to the secretaries at the Board of Education, do not own property in town, and do not have to pay a tax bill that increases each year without fail. The taxes this year on that $500,000 home which is now worth around $ 1.2 million are almost $ 20,000 (based on the housing price index for CT published by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and which is now assessed on 70 percent of its value and taxed at a 23.37 mill rate). Our taxes have gone up at an annual growth rate of almost 5 percent. Inflation over the same period has been less than 3 percent annually.

The fact that so many of our public employees do not pay taxes in Fairfield makes it much more difficult to explain to them why we can no longer afford all of the services that the town is providing. The increase in property taxes that residents have absorbed over the last 10 years has changed  the fabric of our community. Seniors feel as though they have to move out, our elected officials are renting apartments, local business owners have closed their shops and younger generations no longer feel that they can afford a home in Fairfield.   

Kate Daniello

Fairfield for Good Government

Fairfield Taxpayer January 24, 2013 at 04:08 PM
help me out ; whats a 2 to 5 set?
Sandra January 24, 2013 at 04:13 PM
Family with 3 kids?
iamspartacus February 02, 2013 at 01:11 AM
Well put Mr. North. Anyone who has heard Kate and her minions from the "We the People"days knows that the motto is "I already used up the schools and services but I don't want to move out of my million dollar house so the rest of you need to suffer". And by the way when did anyone elect her to be our "taxpayer advocate"? I must have missed the vote.
Ajack February 07, 2013 at 03:10 PM
At a past PTA meeting at Fairfield Woods,one of the heads of the group at the meeting basically suggested that long time residents who live in the smaller houses in Fairfield, had no right to be here, and were the problem with this town's finances.It was implied from her statements that these smaller home dwellers should move out and , pardon the paraphrasing, let the rich and the wealthy buy their homes , tear them down and build their monster homes. This lady eluded to the idea also that higher taxes on these monstrosities would help to solve our money problems and our budget problems in this town. Unbelievable. Is this what this town has come to? Next they will be eating their young.
DM March 21, 2013 at 02:01 PM
Govt jobs being unionized with Dems in control. What could go wrong!?

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