Regional revaluation

There is not just power in numbers, there are savings, too.

Eleven of the 12 member towns of the Northeastern Connecticut Council of Governments have come together to form the state's first regional revaluation collaborative - an agreement that saves every member municipality dollars and sets in stone their revaluation costs for a five-year period.

It's a smart idea and the kind of regional cooperation that should be commonplace. Cities and towns in the state need to team up to spend less wherever possible. There are so many instances of overlap and overspending with Connecticut's 169 municipalities that when something like the NECCOG revaluation collaborative is announced, it's cause for celebration.

Perhaps the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments will reconsider its decision to put off a similar revaluation program for member municipalities in this part of the state. The local COG said there was not "a critical mass of towns" interested in partnering in such an initiative. That's hard to fathom, given the financial situation of most municipalities.

The Northeastern Connecticut Council of Governments has said its preferred rate with the regional initiative amounts to a combined savings of about $550,000. That's substantial money. It took two years and passage of a state statute to make the collaborative work.

Public Act 09-60 allows "any two or more towns" to enter into an agreement to "establish a regional revaluation program." More municipalities should do it.

In addition to cost savings, the regional agreement allows for 50 percent of participating towns' properties to be inspected every five years. Municipalities do full inspections every decade by law and updates at the midway point that don't involve visual inspections. The five-year inspections under the regional plan should remove some of the volatility associated with revaluations.

Increasing efficiency and cutting costs are good reasons for parochial New Englanders to look toward regionalization every chance they get. The NECCOG plan is a good place to start.

The Day editorial board meets regularly with political, business and community leaders and convenes weekly to formulate editorial viewpoints. It is composed of President and Publisher Tim Dwyer, Editorial Page Editor Paul Choiniere, Managing Editor Tim Cotter, Staff Writer Julia Bergman and retired deputy managing editor Lisa McGinley. However, only the publisher and editorial page editor are responsible for developing the editorial opinions. The board operates independently from the Day newsroom.

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