Suzie Binch

Country Living Assoc. recently hired two new sales associates, Pam Stutz and Suzie Binch, for the company’s New Canaan office.

Binch and Stutz previously worked with Coldwell Banker/Previews International before joining Country Living and both are members of the National Association of Realtors, the Connecticut Association of Realtors, the Consolidated Multiple Listing Service and the New Canaan Board of Realtors.

Stutz, a 16-year resident of New Canaan, earned her bachelor’s degree in business at Colorado State University.

Binch, a lifelong resident of New Canaan, served as chairwoman of the Waveny Care Center Development Committee and worked on its 2006 annual campaign. She also is a former board member of the New Canaan Red Cross.

Country Living Assoc. has 180 sales associates in six offices serving 12 communities in lower Fairfield County. The firm has sales offices in Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Stamford, Westport and Wilton, and corporate relocation services in Norwalk.

Tax Credit Raised

Tax season may be a little less painful this year, thanks to a boost in the state’s property tax credit.

The credit was raised from a $350 maximum to a $500 maximum. Residents can take the credit for taxes paid on either a home or automobile, or both.

“Some changes that impact 2006 Connecticut income tax returns can make this year’s tax filing less of a burden,” said Gov. M. Jodi Rell. “Increases to the property tax credit and the new deduction for contributions made to the Connecticut Higher Education Trust should take some of the sting out of filing.”

Taxpayers who made contributions to the trust last year are allowed to deduct those contributions from their tax liability. The deductions are limited to a maximum of $5,000 for individuals filing as singles or heads of households, and individuals in marriages or civil unions filing separately. For taxpayers filing a joint return or as a qualifying widower, the deduction is limited to a maximum of $10,000.

Rell also pointed taxpayers to the Department of Revenue Services Web site to get information about electronic filing.

“Electronic filing is faster and more accurate than paper filing,” she said. “It also speeds up processing so that taxpayers who are getting a refund will receive it more quickly.”

Electronic filing began in January and within the first two weeks taxpayers had filed more than 8,400 returns.

Sauve Joins H. Pearce

H. Pearce Real Estate Co. has added Realtor Linda Sauve to the company’s New Haven office.

A New Haven resident for the past 12 years, Sauve has a background in graphic arts and furniture sales. She has a Master in Business Administration degree and a bachelor’s degree in economics.

H. Pearce has more than 150 agents and seven branch offices in Greater New Haven and the Shoreline. Corporate and commercial real estate offices are located in North Haven, where the company was founded in 1958.
State MLS Launches

An effort to simplify the process of looking up real estate listings across the state has come to fruition. Connecticut’s statewide multiple listing service, CTMLS, launched on Feb. 1, giving Realtors access to information on more than 25,000 active listings. The service also has access to historical data on more than 285,000 sold properties.

Other features of the service include access to an integrated tax database for every town in the state; MLX Wireless, a system that allows MLS data to be accessed via a personal digital assistant or mobile phone; and an integrated technology helpline.

CTMLS is partnered with the Connecticut Association of Realtors and is a member of the National Association of Realtors. More than 13,000 Realtors from six multiple listing services operating in Connecticut, as well as individual brokers from southwestern and northeastern parts of the state, participate in CTMLS.