is contesting the tax assessment placed on their newly acquired facilities on Pequot Avenue, taking the case before the .
The company filed five appeals with the court, each one charging that the assessments made by the city were “grossly excessive, disproportionate, and unlawful.” The Board of Assessment Appeals declined to hear two of the disputes and made no change after April hearings on the other three. The suits request that the assessed value be reduced to 70 percent of the properties’ “true and actual value.”
The largest dispute comes from the assessment of the facility at 50 Pequot Avenue at a fair market value of $309,228,500 on Oct. 1. The determined that the property should be liable for taxation at 70 percent of that value, or $216,459,950. According to news archives, New York-based pharmaceutical company Pfizer spent about $300 million to construct the campus as a research and development center in 2001. When the company moved its employees to facilities in Groton, Electric Boat purchased the complex last July for $55 million.
"Electric Boat has a fiduciary responsibility to both company shareholders and its customer, the United States Navy, to pay taxes based upon an appropriate assessment of property value,” said John P. Casey, president of Electric Boat, in a statement. “Given the significant difference between the current assessed value of our New London property, and the price that we paid on the open market, we're asking a third party to review and determine the appropriate tax liability."
Tom Londregan, chief counsel for the city of New London, said he feels that Electric Boat bought the property at a signficantly lower price than its actual value, characterizing it as a "fire sale."
"It's unfortunate that EB is beginning its relationship with the city with a lawsuit," he said. "I trust they realize that the price they paid was not the fair value of the property. I think even EB realizes that."
The other suits dispute the following tax assessments, also made on Oct. 1:
- Property at 81 Pequot Ave., assessed at a fair market value of $5,418,500 and assessed value of $3,792,500.
- Property at 20 Nameaug Street, assessed at a fair market value of $1,070,200 and assessed value of $749,140.
- Property at 21 Pequot Ave., assessed at a fair market value of $307,400 and assessed value of $215,180.
- Land and improvements on Pequot Ave., assessed at a fair market value of $253,500 and assessed value of $177,450.
A subsidiary of General Dynamics, Electric Boat has its main address at 75 Eastern Point Road in Groton. The company chiefly focuses on designing and building nuclear submarines for the Navy, but is also involved in markets related to the Navy’s surface ships and commercial nuclear programs, according to their website.