Greenwich is rated the safest community in Connecticut and one of the safest in the country and it’s no wonder with 14 police cars on the road at all times, traffic downtown directed by police officers and with a force of 158 police officers, the average response time to a call is less than four minutes.
Greenwich operates on a “pay as you go” basis and carries almost no debt. This allows Greenwich to keep property taxes low while maintaining a budget of over $183,000,000. Real Estate taxes are based on assessments limited by statute to 70% of market value. The tax rate is presently 11.51 cents + sewer .58 cents per thousand of assessed value (mill rate). The town policy is for the mill rate to increase no more than 3.5% a year, while maintaining $20,000,000 a year in capital improvements. There are no separate school taxes. There is a personal property tax on cars equal to the mil rate. There is no town income tax. The state has an income tax of 0.044 (4.4%).
A Great Investment
Greenwich real estate just keeps increasing in value. And why not, this community offers more and just keeps getting better. Although real estate here is not completely recession-proof, it is certainly recession-resistant. Few have made an investment that was better than their Greenwich real estate. And, you get to live in this investment too.
Greenwich is still 25% green. It has 32 miles of coastline, with its main beaches at Greenwich Point (147 acres), Byram Beach and the two city-owned islands (Captains Island & Island Beach). Greenwich has 8,000 acres of protected land; over 1,000 acres of town parks; 35 town tennis courts (not including the YWCA courts); several community centers; an indoor ice rink (open only to residents); 14 public marinas and a 158 acre, 18-hole golf course (open only to residents). The town’s Department of Parks and Recreation maintains a very active program of events, from its supervised skate park, to teams such as baseball, football and soccer, to tennis and golf lessons. They also maintain a large number of well-run summer camps.
In addition to the wealth of town facilities, Greenwich has 10 private country clubs and 9 Yacht clubs.
Music lovers enjoy the Greenwich Philharmonic and the frequent summer town concerts as well as the opportunity to attend the many nearby theater productions. And, as stated by Art & Antiques Magazine, art in Greenwich is everywhere, not just in the eight exceptional art galleries of Greenwich. The Art Societies are also very active and the sidewalk art shows are always popular events.
The Bruce Museum appeals to everyone and is rated one of the best museums in Connecticut. The Bruce Museum attracted over 100,000 visitors last year to their 8,000 square feet of gallery space and 18 exciting exhibitions, making the Bruce the second most popular museum in Connecticut. No wonder the museum is placed in the top 10% of U.S. museums.
The Greenwich Library is a special treasure. It recently received a $30,000,000 gift from a Greenwich resident that was used, with the help of architect Cesar Pelli, to re-design the library and add 31,000 additional square feet. Greenwich residents must indeed be well-read. The main branch, together with its two town branches and the independent Perrot Library in Old Greenwich, lent more than 1.5 million items last year, making it the second most used public library system in New England. The library not only has a very capable and helpful staff, but it provides superior internet capability as well. Not only can you look up and check out books, you can research the town using the extensive “Community Answers” web site. Anyone with a library card can have access from their home to a wealth of independent research data bases. It is no wonder the library has been rated the best in the country.
Keeping Greenwich beautiful, is not only important to the town’s Department of Parks, it is almost the full time preoccupation of the town’s eight garden clubs, Greenwich Green & Clean, The Land Trust, the Historical Society and many, many other town groups and organizations.
Greenwich Public Schools (10 elementary, 3 middle and 1 high school) are rated first or second in Connecticutof the graduates go to the “Most Competitive Colleges.” The school budget is $70 million. The average class size is 20 students and over 90% of the teachers have masters degrees. SAT scores had a mean of 1125 (571 in math and 554 in verbal). Eighty-one percent of the students scored at the Mastery Level set by the State of Connecticut.
In addition, Greenwich has 30 independent pre-schools and nine excellent private and parochial day schools.
The Greenwich Continuing Education courses serve some 7,000 adults annually. The course catalog lists about 400 offerings. Prices are very reasonable, and the courses cover a very wide spectrum of interests.
Sophisticated Medical Services
Greenwich hospital is truly amazing. The 296-bed Greenwich Hospital is an affiliate of Yale University School of Medicine. It is a state-of-the-art hospital, beautifully decorated to look more like a Hyatt hotel than a typical hospital. As a testament to its excellent health care, patients from all over Fairfield and Westchester seek treatment at Greenwich Hospital. Last year 28% of the admissions were from New York State residents. Greenwich Hospital is carefully gearing up for the 21st Century. The hospital built a state of the art cancer center (Bendheim) and is currently undertaking a $129,000,000 expansion to make it a high-tech diagnostic and healing center without all of the normal delays and “red-tape” often associated with hospitals. For the third consecutive year it has ranked in the top percentile in patient satisfaction, nationwide. The Greenwich environment together with the hospital’s state of the art facilities and reputation for excellence has attracted many of the country’s best doctors.