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Letter: People of Woodbridge – Follow the Money

Why has no-one asked Beth Heller to provide an accurate accounting of the anticipated tax revenues/losses that would be generated from the development proposal and has relied completely on the developer who has provided false numbers?  Not optimistic or slightly exaggerated, but completely irrational and yes, dishonest numbers.  Just look at them.  Any competent proposal brought to referendum should have these numbers fully vetted.  If there were actually a significant positive revenue generation, this might gain some support.  Though I believe that a real study will reveal this is not an economically viable plan, and those that have been supporting this are likely to be thoroughly disappointed when seeing the real numbers.

The possibility of age restricted two bedrooms selling in Woodbridge for the numbers suggested is totally unsupported by anything that has happened in Amity or New Haven County.  Why do our elected official base a decision on this ridiculous number?  If the developer is so certain of this, let them guarantee it, and provide the town with rights that allow the town to place a senior lien of take possession of any units that do not sell at that price and maintain that tax basis.  I am certain the builder and their financers will not agree to this, they typically ask for rights to sell for less if they can’t generate inflated numbers.

The estimated number of children that would likely occupy the free-market housing units is likewise unsupported by any historical precedence.  The provided cost estimates per pupil are completely fabricated with no basis in reality at less than half of what this would actually cost.  We have a fixed cost for every Amity student, and the addition of students is not free as the developers suggest as just a minor increase in class sizes that will be absorbed for free.

There have been no expense estimates provided for other increased town services for so many units.  Significant EMS responses are common for age restricted housing, road maintenance, police services, etc., etc.  None of this has been accounted for.

Ms. Heller proposes that this project will generate much needed tax revenue, but fails to provide any rational evidence to support this.  On multiple occasions I have asked the town to provide an accurate revenue and expense analysis on the proposal, yet the town has never done this.  What I am asking is not difficult and completely reasonable.

I have been working in the real estate development field for thirty-five years, and I will warn the people of Woodbridge to do the most important thing here.  Follow the money.  It is the only reason a project like this is pushed after repeated overwhelming town support to purchase this piece of land and leave it undeveloped so we preserve the nature of our town and don’t lose money based on false promises.  I have closed over $30B in real estate transactions and I would be happy to provide a rational, unbiased analysis.  If the numbers justify, we support.  If they do not, let’s put this to bed for good and leave it open space which is what the town originally voted for, and overpaid for this property for.

Kevin Tatro

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