File this one under the wonderful world of the rich and famous.
Greenwich Native Luke Bronin, whose short-term goal is to be Hartford’s next mayor, owns a fully renovated 5,227 square-foot Brownstone off Bushnell Park in Hartford. Built in 1865, Bronin paid $400,000 to buy the building in May 2012 and then spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to completely renovate the property.
According to the City of Hartford Assessors records, Bronin’s Brownstone is now in “excellent” condition. In fact, the renovation project even earned Bronin and his architect wife the 2014 Alice Washburn Architectural Award for best renovation and addition project in Connecticut.
While the prestigious Bronin home is potentially worth $1 million or more, for tax purposes it is assessed at $112, 779 leaving Bronin with a paltry 2015 Hartford tax bill of $8,378.36 plus a few hundred more for his BMW 328XI.
In recent days Bronin and his political operatives have been attacking Mayor Pedro Segarra for raising taxes in order to try and maintain city services.
Yet at the same time, Bronin has utterly failed to address how he would deal with Hartford’s unfair and discriminatory property tax system, except to suggest that he would give major companies more tax breaks.
Bronin has also conveniently skipped over how he is personally benefiting from Hartford’s warped property tax system.
But that appears to be the Bronin way.
Luke Bronin’s campaign is violating Connecticut campaign finance law.
Bronin is also lying about how long he was a resident of Hartford.
And now he is claiming that he’ll solve Hartford’s problems and challenges without having to raise taxes. (A protégée of Dannel -I won’t raise taxes- Malloy for sure.)
So what is the truth about Luke Bronin and his failure to pay his fair share in taxes?
In January 2013, Luke Bronin sold his $1.9 million home in the Georgetown area of Washington D.C. and moved “back” to Hartford.
Half a year earlier, on May 21, 2012, Bronin purchased an old brownstone off Bushnell Park for $400,000 and the Bronin’s began their renovation project.
According to a story in CT Magazine, the renovation project won them the Alice Washburn Awards for best renovation and addition.
As CT Magazine explained about the award,
“….when you move through the grand residential home of Luke and Sara Bronin and their three small children, it is easy to see why.
They were able to move into the home after nearly a year of work, and now that they’re settled Bronin admits the location is as wonderful as they always imagined it would be. Bushnell Park is directly across the street from the brownstone and they are immediately adjacent to the State Capitol, which allows her husband, who serves as the governor’s legal counsel, to walk to work every day.
The dramatic 32-foot kitchen-dining room, with two working fireplaces, was created by combining four different rooms. The owners painstakingly restored the historic mahogany paneling at right, and added a complementary wine cabinet.
What emerged was a meticulously decorated, four-story home where each generation is given its own private living space—the kids on the top floor with parents below on the third. ‘We thought the kids would love having their own floor, and they do!’ said Bronin. ‘From their playroom, they can see City Hall and most of Bushnell Park…The third floor is the ‘adults’ floor.’
The second floor, which is the main floor of the house, is arranged for versatility, allowing the couple to throw small dinner parties or large family gatherings. Bronin explains that, ‘There’s a flow on that floor but with distinct spaces separated by the historic staircase.’
‘There are nice details; the new front bay was perfectly rendered,’ said the Washburn jurors. ‘Given the tone of much of the work entered, the jury appreciated the wit that was shown in the blending of aesthetics celebrated in this project. This is a good example of what this award program is hoping to achieve, bringing the traditional to the present.’
Working with Sarah Bronin’s own Architecture, Interior Design and Furnishings Company were a series of other contractors.
Interesting, for the man who says he will bring jobs to Hartford, only one of the contractors he used apparently even lives in Hartford.
According to published reports, the renovation of Bronin’s property was completed with the help of the following companies;
MEP Design: LN Consulting, LLC, Winooski, VT
Lead Carpenter: Hartford Builders LLC, Marlborough, CT
Mason for Brownstone Restoration: Damiata Masonry, Cromwell, CT
Mason for Interior and front courtyard: K&G Masonry, Farmington, CT
Mason for Interior: Capital Masonry, Hartford, CT (Owner actually lives in Bloomfield)
Mechanical/HVAC: Connecticut Heating & Cooling LLC,, East Hartford, CT
Electric: CLG Electric LLC, Somers, CT
Plumbing: TC Plumbing LLC, Hartford, CT
Painting: Washbond Custom Painting LLC, West Hartford, CT
Custom Cabinetry: Heartwood Custom Cabinetry, Marlborough, CT
Back Courtyard Landscaping & Design: Earthworks LLC, Tolland, CT
For those who want to pictures of the home, they can be found on the Connecticut Magazine website at: http://www.connecticutmag.com/Connecticut-Magazine/July-2014/2014-Alice-Washburn-Architectural-Award-Winners/
But while the property has been significantly improved, the assessment on Bronin’s property for Hartford property tax purposes has remained almost unchanged.
A house that should be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars is actually assessed at $112,779
2012-2013 Assessment: $95,659
2013-2014 Assessment: $91,159
2014-2015 Assessment: $110,023
2015-201 Assessment: $112,779
In each of those years, the Mill Rate Bronin was charged was 74.29 mills
So the question remains – what would Luke Bronin do about a system in which his Hartford property tax payments aren’t even close to what he should fairly be paying.