The property tax is designed as an "ad valorem" tax, which means it is a tax based on the value of the property. An owner of a $1,000,000 property should pay twice as much in taxes as the owner of a $500,000 property. The market value of property is the standard that is used to determine one's fair share.
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Call the Assessor's Office and provide them with your name, phone number and the nature of the error. An appraiser will follow up on the request by calling you and if necessary, setting up a date and time for an inspection of the property to correct the record.
In Connecticut, property tax rates are expressed in Mills, or thousandths of a dollar. A property tax rate of 7.500 mills, .0075 expressed in decimal form, or .75% expressed as a percent of assessed value, results in the payment of $7.50 for each $1,000 of the properties assessed value. The Board of Estimate and Taxation sets the mill rate in May of every year in time for the July tax billing.
A record of characteristics of land and buildings was collected and verified. This included defining neighborhoods within the Town. Factors such as the size of the lot and special features were considered. Also, the dwelling is analyzed by:
Information on new construction, additions and remodeling was obtained. Outbuildings such as garages and swimming pools were noted. Other factors that have either a positive or negative impact on value from a buyer's perspective were also considered. Sales were verified and analyzed. A valuation model was created for improvements and land. Values were assigned to building areas and physical depreciation and functional obsolescence were subtracted to reach a net value for the buildings, and then the value of the land was added to reach a market value for the property.
After model values were applied, a field review of each property was conducted. Commercial properties were valued using the income approach to value that takes into consideration market rents, typical expenses and vacancy rates, and capitalization rates based upon what a typical investor in income-producing property would expect for return of, return on and risk involved in particular types of properties. The special use properties and those where there were not enough income or sales data were valued by the cost approach. The approach basically adds the replacement cost less depreciation of the structures on a lot to the land value to arrive at an estimated market value.
The assessed value is 70% of the appraised market value and is used as the basis for determining the property taxes. Market value is the typical price that a willing buyer would pay a willing seller if the property were offered on the open market, granted the buyer and seller are not related in any way or under any pressure to buy or sell.
You may find the assessments and sales records in binders at the counter. Or property information can be accessed at the public computer terminals in the Assessor's office. You can print field cards for properties. That information includes various details about the parcel:
Information is provided in the Assessor's section of the Town's website.
Property owners should check their assessment record to see if any errors in data or property characteristics are present. The Assessor will correct errors if found.
If property owners are not satisfied with the results, they may apply for a hearing with the Board of Assessment Appeals (BAA) pursuant to Connecticut General Statute (C.G.S.) §12-111. Applications may be obtained at the Assessor's Office or on the Town's website. Appeals to the Board must be in writing on the prescribed application and postmarked or hand-delivered to the designated BAA office in Town Hall on or before February 20th.
A revaluation is an updating of all real property values as of October 1st. A revaluation consists of appraising the value of the properties, both taxable and exempt, using recent sales, building costs and income and expense information from similar property types. All real estate is revalued including:
Senior homeowners, age 65 years of age or older, who meet the eligibility guidelines, may qualify to receive Local or State property tax credits. Owners of condominiums and co-operative apartments are also eligible. Applications are available and accepted between February 1st and May 15th. Please contact the Assessor's Office for complete filing details and forms.
Veterans who file their DD-214 papers with the Town Clerk prior to October 1st of each year will receive a property tax exemption on either real estate or a motor vehicle.
A Veteran who is entitled to a disability pension, as determined by the Veterans Administration, is eligible for a Disabled Veterans Exemption.
Members of the armed forces on active duty may be eligible to have one passenger motor vehicle exempt from property tax.
Please contact the Assessor's Office for further information.
Connecticut Assessors use the NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) appraisal guide for automobile valuations. The assessed value of the motor vehicle is 70% of the published average retail selling price.
Automobile owners who disagree with the assessment may appear at the September meeting of the Board of Assessment Appeals.