Gibson loses land tax bid

GREENWICH: Mel Gibson has lost his bid to have a portion of his Connecticut estate classified as a farm. Mel Gibson asked to have 6.8 hectares of his 30.3 hectares in Greenwich taxed as farm land, but town officials rejected the request.

“Anyone can have a few pigs in their back yard, but a viable farm is more than having something for personal use,” town Assessor John “Ted” Gwartney said. “It’s about producing a viable product.” Gibson would have saved about $10,000 per year in property taxes on his $17.7 million estate if granted the exemption for owners of working farms. His annual property tax bill is about $137,000.

Besides a 28-room mansion, pool, tennis court and two guest houses, the property includes a barn where Gibson has kept sheep, donkeys and possibly chickens, town officials said. Gwartney, in a letter to Gibson’s representatives in November, ruled that Gibson’s property was “not being used as a bona fide productive farming activity.” — AP