Montville - The town grand list of all taxable property dropped nearly 15 percent, more than $225 million from 2010 to last year, according to a report released Thursday night.
The report from the tax assessor's office concluded the drop was primarily the result of a recent revaluation of real estate in town.
The net taxable grand list decreased from roughly $1.52 billion in 2010 to $1.29 billion in 2011, a drop of close to 15 percent. Taxable real estate dropped from $1.27 billion to $1.04 billion, roughly 18 percent.
Another looming revenue problem for the town exists with AES Thames, the closed coal-fired power plant on Depot Road that filed for bankruptcy, ceased operations and is now for sale.
Now that a court-appointed trustee has taken over the bankruptcy case, it is uncertain whether the town will collect the property and real estate taxes it is due.
"It's going to be up to the bankruptcy court to determine what's left at the end of the day," Mayor Ronald K. McDaniel Jr. said. "A long story short, we have to plan on not getting the $1.2 million we're owed this year and getting nothing next year."
AES Thames was the town's largest taxpayer at more than $1.2 million. McDaniel said the court-appointed trustee is required to pay other bills while searching for potential buyers for the plant. For example, there are necessary costs associated with the environmental upkeep of the facility.
When Town Councilor Dana McFee asked what kind of impact AES Thames' outstanding debts could have on the town's mill rate, McDaniel said it could result in an increase of four to five mills.
The mayor also said it will be the toughest budget year in recent memory. Councilors have said repeatedly in recent weeks that this budget will be especially difficult for the town.
"It's really a harsh reality that we're going to have to deal with," Town Councilor Rosetta Jones said.
The grand list was unveiled Thursday at an informational meeting that was designed to provide residents with a better understanding of the recent townwide property revaluation. Vision Appraisal, an independent firm, handled the revaluation, which was last done in 2006.
Revaluation is required by the state every 10 years, with an interim update of every five years.