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Connecticut Taxation

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Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Why Use Tax Records[edit | edit source]

By studying several consecutive years of tax records you may determine when a young men came of age, when individuals moved in and out of a home, or when they died leaving heirs. Authorities determined wealth (real estate, or income) to be taxed. Taxes can be for polls, real and personal estate, or schools.

Tax record content varies and may include the name and residence of the taxpayer, description of the real estate, name of original purchaser, description of personal property, number of males over 21, number of school children, slaves, and farm animals. Tax records usually are arranged by date and locality and are not normally indexed. Tax records can be used in place of missing land and census records to locate a person’s residence.

How to Use Tax Records for Connecticut[edit | edit source]

County Level[edit | edit source]

Town Records[edit | edit source]

Town records generally begin with the founding of the town and are kept to the present. Many of the original town records are in the town clerks' offices. Some are at the Connecticut State Library. This includes town tax records.

Taxes were levied for personal property and land through out most of Connecticut's history. The town assessor made lists of all taxables. This generated a considerable number of tax lists over time. Tax records are included with in each town. You can write or call to the town for information about tax lists.[2]

An alphabetical list of towns and phone numbers can be found here Town Vital Records-Directory.

The Family History Library has microfilms of many Connecticut town records from the creation of the town to the early 1920s. To find the film numbers for these records, use the FamilySearch Catalog Place-names search for a particular town.

State Level[edit | edit source]

  • 1862-1866 Internal revenue assessment lists for Connecticut Internal revenue assessment lists were created into divisions called Districts, each county is put into a district. County names are arranged alphabetically within the division and then within months. The following is a list of counties placed in which district. (knowing the district and county your ancestor lived in will make searching this years taxes list a little faster)
    (once on page scroll down to district desired and click on camera to open)

U.S. Internal Revenue Assessment Lists. Three types of Reports: A=Annual; M=Monthly; S=Special Years and Reports may be different.

DISTRICT 1: Hartford, Tolland
DISTRICT 2: Middlesex, New Haven
DISTRICT 3: New London, Windham
DISTRICT 4: Fairfield, Latchfield

  • The Connecticut State Library has a list of various tax records still at the town clerk's offices.
  • The Connecticut Historical Society through out the state have some genealogical collections and records.

Highly valuable tax record for Connecticut is the U.S. Direct Tax for 1798. The records are extant for nearly half of the towns with some also having rate lists for 1813,1814,1815,1816. The original booklets indicate rates based on land, dwellings, and personal property of which is usually itemized. Years later out-of-state owners were listed. Records haven't been filmed as yet but can be seen at the Connecticut Historical Society.[3]

Tax Laws[edit | edit source]

Tax money bag.jpg

Abraham Lincoln instituted the income tax in 1862, and on July 1, 1862, Congress passed the Internal Revenue Act, creating the Bureau of Internal Revenue (later renamed to the Internal Revenue Service). This act was intended to “provide Internal Revenue to support the Government and to pay interest on the Public Debt.” Instituted in the height of the Civil War, the “Public Debt” at the time primarily consisted of war expenses. For the Southern States that were part of the Confederate side of the Civil War, once Union troops took over parts of the Southern States, income tax were instituted on them. [4]

  • To learn more about this Collection click here
  • To learn more about the Civil War taxes click here


What history has shown us is that while property taxes are locally levied, there is significant state involvement with the amount of tax local political subdivisions can levy, how property assessments are conducted, and what services local taxing subdivisions must provide for their residents. Many of the changes the state has made in the past to lower the local property tax required a shift in financial responsibility from the local governments to the state. This comes at a cost to state taxpayers, because the state has obligations it must fund as well, with a limited amount of state tax dollars.

  • History of Taxation in Connecticut, 1636-1776. Jones, Frederick Robertson. Reprint. New York: Johnson Reprint Corporation, 1973. Originally published: Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins Press, 1896. (Johns Hopkins University studies in historical and political science. 14th series; 8).

References[edit | edit source]