Frequently Asked Questions
Whom do I contact if I have questions about my assessment?
By telephone you can reach the Assessor's Office at (860) 285-1817. Or, click here to email a question.
What is an assessment?
An assessment is the value placed on a property appearing on the Grand List. It is the basis upon which the property tax levy is distributed among the property owners in a community. In order to determine the tax liability of a particular property, the property assessment is multiplied by the municipality's mill rate.
In Connecticut, an assessment is equal to 70% of the fair market value as established by the municipal Assessor in the year of the last revaluation. For motor vehicles and business personal property, this assessment is recalculated annually as of October 1st. Real estate assessments are established during the town-wide revaluations, which are performed on a periodic schedule, established by State Law. Currently we are mandated by Law to do a revaluation every 5 years.
What guidelines must the assessor follow?
Connecticut General Statutes (primarily Title 12) and the relevant case law (which assists in interpreting these statutes) govern assessment procedures and practices. In addition, the State of Connecticut Office of Policy & Management, Intergovernmental Policy Division, prescribes regulations and issues administrative pronouncements dealing with the administration of statutes related to assessment practices. All aspects of assessment work is dictated by Connecticut General Statutes.
How can I determine if my assessment is fair?
In order to judge the fairness of your assessment, two questions should be asked. First, does the assessment represent 70% of the probable selling price as of the date of the assessment? Second, is my assessment similar to comparable properties in Town?
The Assessor's Office maintains information that will help you answer these questions. A list of properties that have sold and lists of assessments of all properties in Town can be reviewed in the Assessor's Office between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM Monday through Friday.
Are there any exemptions and/or benefits available for individuals who are veterans, blind, disabled or eldery?
There are various programs and benefits available. Please refer to the Tax Relief section of our webpage
What is the assessment date?
October 1st of every year, per Connecticut General Statues.
How is the tax rate established?
The tax rate, or mill rate, is established annually by the elected Town Council through the adoption of the town's budget. This process of establishing the tax rate begins with the preparation of the Town Manager's Proposed Budget and concludes with the Town Council's adoption of the budget and mill rate.
The simplified formula for determining the mill rate is the Town Levy divided by the Taxable Grand List. The Town Levy (also referred to as the Grand Levy) is simply the amount of money the Town needs to generate through the property tax in order to provide town services. The Taxable Grand List is the total of taxable assessments for all real estate, motor vehicles, and personal property located within the Town's boundaries.
What is the fair market value of my real estate and who determines it?
Fair market value is a legal term defined by the courts as the most probable price which a property would bring on the open market, given prudent, knowledgeable and willing buyers and sellers. Fair market value is the standard by which the fairness of all assessments are judged.
The buyer and seller of real estate determine the fair market value of real estate. The appraiser or assessor analyzes real estate transactions that occur within a community and determine the factors that lead to the final sale prices. Information developed through the analysis of these sales is used by appraisers and assessors to develop mathematical models that are utilized in estimating the market values of all properties in a community. Some of the typical factors that are used by an appraiser in estimating market values include location, condition, age, size and quality of improvements.
Who determines the value of my vehicle?
The Legislature mandates that the entire State of Connecticut determine the values of the motor vehicles based on 70% of the retail value in the New England Edition of the NADA book, not the Kelley Blue Book. All vehicles throughout the State are valued the same way and come to the Assessor's Office already priced by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The Assessor's office DOES NOT assess each and every registered vehicle individually.
What if I disagree with the assessment of my property?
The Board of Assessment Appeals which is comprised of 3 private citizens meet twice a year to hear appeals for those disputing their assessments. The September meeting is usually held on a Saturday and is exclusively for motor vehicles only. The March meetings are determined annually by the number of individuals that wish to appeal and are open for any type of property appeal, real estate, motor vehicle and personal property. For the March meetings, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes, applications to meet before the Board must be filed with the Town Assessor no later than February 20th. Failure to comply with this requirement constitutes a waiver to meet with the Board for that year.