By ROBIN STANSBURY, Courant Staff Writer
A Cape Cod resort town has come up with a new way to ease the property tax bills of year-round residents: charge out-of-town owners of second homes more money.
And that's not sitting well with at least some of the more than 700 Connecticut residents who own homes there.
Such as Al Aguiar of East Hartford.
Aguiar, a retired mechanic from Pratt & Whitney who owns a second home in Hyannis, is outraged that he is now being asked to pay almost double in taxes what a year-round resident would pay for the same home.
"It's discrimination," said Aguiar, 61. "They are lowering their taxes and raising ours. It isn't fair. It's insulting and it burns me up."
But under Massachusetts law, it's also perfectly legal.
Last November, the Barnstable Town Council - which covers seven villages on the Cape, including Hyannis - took advantage of a state law to provide a tax break for year-round residents, reducing their property assessments by 20 percent of the average assessed value of all homes in town, which is just over $500,000. As a result, all year-round homeowners will see their assessments reduced by $100,100.
The council raised the tax rate to compensate, but most year-round residents will still see smaller tax bills while part-time residents will pay more.
An out-of-town homeowner such as Aguiar, whose property is assessed at $207,500, will pay about $1,309 a year in taxes. A year-round homeowner with the same assessment will, after the reduction, pay $677...
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