- Litigation & Dispute Resolution
- Municipal & State Government
- Tax Assessment/Collection & Appeal
|University ||Trinity College, B.A., History, 1983|
|Law School||University of Connecticut School of Law, J.D., 1986|
|Admitted||1986, Connecticut; 1986, District of Connecticut|
Connecticut Bar Association
Hartford County Bar Association
Connecticut Association of Municipal
Connecticut Conference of Municipalities
|Born||February 26, 1961|
Michael Collins is an experienced trial lawyer, having represented clients in state and federal courts and before administrative bodies. His litigation experience includes defending claims regarding automobile liability, premises liability, civil rights and police pursuits. He has also defended professional liability claims regarding state marshals, insurance agents, architects and engineers.
Michael is also a member of the firm's Municipal Law Practice Area. He has extensive experience in litigating property valuation appeals, land use cases and administrative appeals. He also provides advice and counsel to his clients on a wide range of municipal matters including land use, statutory interpretation, drafting and review of ordinances, Freedom of Information issues, the procurement process and elections.
Michael is a member of the Connecticut Association of Municipal Attorneys and the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities. He is a former member of the Office of the Corporation Counsel for the City of Hartford from 1986 to 2003, including the last eight years as the Deputy Corporation Counsel.
He is a member of the Board of Assessment Appeals for the Town of Glastonbury, and a member of the town's Recreation Commission. He is also a member of the Irish American Home Society, where he is a past vice president and former member of the board of directors.
News & Events
H & S Attorneys Present to CT Association of Assessing Officials
Michael Collins, Duncan Forsyth, Michael Leone, James Perito and Richard Roberts all were presenters for the Connecticut Association of Assessing Officials (CAAO) at the group's annual Assessors' School, held on the main campus of the University of Connecticut in Storrs.
The team of Halloran & Sage attorneys spoke on several topics related to property assessment for the 100 attendees of the seminar. Those topics included: recent case developments, assessment of partially constructed improvements, a Freedom of Information Act update and the property tax considerations applicable to low and moderate income housing and nursing homes.
CAAO is comprised of over 400 regular and subscribing members. Regular membership is open to all State of Connecticut public officials who are engaged in the administration of property assessments, including assessors, employees of assessors' offices and board of assessment appeals members. Subscribing membership is open to individuals or companies interested in property assessment or a related field. The mission of CAAO is to improve the standards of assessment practices within the State of Connecticut.
|Reported Cases||Representative Matter: H & S Secures Reversal on Municipal Tax Ruling; In Gene Kasica v. Town of Columbia, SC 18968, Halloran & Sage (Laura Pascale Zaino and Michael Collins), on behalf of the Town of Columbia (the Town), secured a reversal by the Connecticut Supreme Court of a trial court judgment holding that municipal assessors did not have authority to tax partially completed construction. The plaintiff had challenged the Town of Columbia's assessor's valuations of his partially constructed, three story, plantation-style house for the 2008 and 2009 grand lists. In 2008, the assessor determined that construction was 35% complete and adjusted the property's assessment on the 2008 grand list to reflect that. In 2009, the assessor determined that construction was 40% complete and adjusted the property's assessment on the 2009 grand list to reflect that. The plaintiff appealed those valuations to the trial court. The trial court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, holding that the assessor could not legally increase the assessed value of the property based solely on the new construction because interim assessments are governed by 12-53a.... The trial court concluded that that statute governed the assessments at issue and held that [b]ecause an interim assessment under 12-53a (a) cannot commence until after new construction is completed, the assessor acted outside of [her] statutory mandate by performing an interim assessment when the property was [incomplete]. In reaching this conclusion, the trial court rejected the Town's argument that Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-55 governed the analysis and afforded the assessor with the authority to tax the partially completed construction. On appeal, the Town argued that the assessor had the authority to tax partially completed construction pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-55. The Town also argued that the trial court improperly applied Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-53a to the facts of this case because 12-53a only applied to completed new construction. The Supreme Court agreed with the Town and reversed the trial court judgment. In doing so, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the conclusion it reached in 84 Century Ltd. Partnership v. Board of Tax Review, 207 Conn. 250, 262 (1988) that 12-55 provides assessors with broad authority to conduct interim assessments of real property and further determined, as a question of first impression, that that authority extends to taxing partially completed construction. It found support for this conclusion in the statutory scheme governing the taxation of real property in Connecticut which provides, among other things, that all improvements to building lots are taxable. Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-64. The partially completed construction improved the plaintiff's building lot and was, therefore, taxable. The Supreme Court rejected the plaintiff's argument, which echoed the trial court's determination, that Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-53a governed the analysis. Instead, it agreed with the Town that 12-53a was strictly limited to assessing and taxing completed new construction and that because the construction at issue was only partially completed at the time of the assessments, it had no bearing on the facts of this case. In sum, the Supreme Court has confirmed that partially completed construction is, and always has been, taxable in Connecticut. This important holding confirms the propriety of a longstanding practice by municipal assessors throughout the state to tax partially completed construction, as well as the income municipalities have generated by their doing so. HLO Land Ownership Associates, Ltd Partnership v. City of Hartford, 248 Conn. 350 (1999); Xerox Corp v. BTR City of Hartford, 240 Conn. 192 (1997); City of Hartford v. Stanley V. Tucker, 225 Conn. 211 (1993); IBM Credit Corp. v. BTR of City of Hartford, 227 Conn. 826 (1993)|
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