FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Will a revaluation increase taxes?
A revaluation may result in an increase or decrease of individual assessments depending on how a property value increased or decreased relative to the average change in assessment. It does not mean that all property taxes will increase or decrease. Remember assessments are only the base that is used to determine the tax burden. The tax burden is the amount that the municipality must raise to operate the local government and support the many services each of us has come to expect, such as schools, police, etc. As an example, if the same amount of money were to be raised after the revaluation as the previous year and each assessment doubles, the tax rate would merely be cut in half.
Will all property values change?
Most likely, yes. However, not all property values will change at the same rate. Market value may have increased more for some neighborhoods and property types than for others. Some neighborhoods and property types may have decreased in value and others may have remained the same. One purpose of a revaluation is to make sure that the assessed values reflect the changes that have occurred in the real estate market.
How will I know if my assessment is equitable?
The first thing that you should do is to ask yourself if you could sell the property for approximately that amount. (Please note that assessments in Connecticut reflect 70% of market value.)
Does the Assessor's Office have the correct information on my property?
You can review the information that the Assessor’s Office has collected on your property to make sure the data is accurate. The Town of New Milford will have this information on the internet. The property data will be available in the Vision Appraisal Online Database, or can be reviewed at the Assessor’s Office located at 10 Main Street. While reviewing your property, you should make sure that all measurements on the sketch are accurate. Please note that all measurements are taken from the exterior. You should also check the land size and interior data to ensure accuracy
Why did my land value change differently than my building value?
Since the last revaluation, real estate values have changed significantly. Over the same period, building construction costs have increased at a slower rate than property values. Since building costs have not increased as much as total values, the bulk of the total increase, if any, is attributable to land. This makes perfect economic sense, as it is land that is in limited supply.
What is market value and who determines my property value?
Market value is determined by people, by the activity in the real estate market and the general economy. The value of your property is based on an analysis of the entire market for a specified period of time before the completion of the revaluation project. The market can generally be defined as, you, the person who sold the property to you, and the person willing to buy it from you. It is the appraiser's job to research and analyze the values in any particular area or neighborhood. In effect, they do what you would do to determine the selling price when putting your property up for sale. However, the appraiser has specific guidelines to follow during their research. Some factors that are examined for each property are: location, size, quality of construction, age of improvements, topography, utilities, zoning restrictions, if any, etc.
If I disagree with my assessment after a hearing, what are my options?
If any property-owner believes the assessment on their property is in excess of its fair market value they should first notify the assessor's office. They may then appeal before the municipality's Board of Assessment Appeals. The Board of Assessment Appeals will review the case and make a determination as to the disposition of the appeal. Should the property-owner still feel the assessment is incorrect, they may appeal to the superior court for the judicial district in which the municipality is located.
What is an informal hearing?
Towards the end of the revaluation, every property owner receives a notice of his or her proposed valuation. If they have a question or concern about the proposed valuation, they are asked to call the Assessor or their contractor to set a date and time for an informal hearing. This appointment is meant to allow a brief discussion about the valuation process, review the specifics of the property in question and to answer general questions the owner may have. Most hearings last about 10-15 minutes. Homeowners are asked to come prepared with their questions and have compared their property to other comparable ones in their neighborhood. They are also encouraged to provide the hearing officer with copies of any documentation they may have regarding specific issues with their proposed assessments
How do I prepare for a hearing?
When you come to a hearing, bring whatever information you may have (property information and/or data changes, comparable sales that sold for less than your property, pictures of your property, etc.) to the hearing. If the revaluation required a physical inspection of the property, make sure you allowed a physical inspection to be conducted or you may lose your right to an appeal.
How will I know if a change was made to my assessment after my hearing?
At the conclusion of the hearings for your town, appraisal staff will review the notes from your hearing and any information you have provided on your property. They will make changes to the data and/or value of the property if appropriate. After this final review process is complete for all properties, a change notice is sent to you. The new value on this change notice will reflect the changes made based on your hearing. This value will now be considered your new assessment and will be reflected in the Assessor’s records.
The Connecticut State General Statutes require that municipalities perform revaluation no later than five years after the last revaluation and that all real property is assessed at 70% of current actual value. The Town of New Milford completed a full physical revaluation in 2010 and an update will be done for 2015 GL. This revaluation project will be a statiscial of all real property.
Informational Link - Vision Appraisal Technology
The attached link to the Vision Appraisal Technology (the contactor revaluation firm) website http://www.visionappraisal.com is intended to provide a project overview, define objectives, and to serve as an educational resource to the public.
Additional information provided includes a project summary, project flowchart, frequently asked questions, resource links, educational videos, sample revaluation taxpayer forms, revaluation news article, and preparation for a taxpayer hearing.
10 Main Street
New Milford, CT 06776
Phone: (860) 355-6070
Fax: (860) 355-3319
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday