A “full measure and list” revaluation, requiring detailed inspections of each home and business in town, is underway, but interior inspections are on hold during the coronavirus pandemic.
Data collectors with Vision Government Solutions have started exterior inspections. They generally work from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
The town’s last full revaluation was in 2011. The new values will be reflected in the October 2021 grand list of taxable properties. Tax bills on the revalued properties will be due in July 2022.
Data collectors will note a building’s size, condition and quality of construction, along with any improvements, utilities and other characteristics. They will not enter any structure until further notice because of the ongoing pandemic, town assessment and collection Director John Rainaldi said.
Each data collector will wear a mask and reflective clothing and carry an identification badge and a letter of introduction. Their vehicles will bear an “Assessor’s Office” sign, according to a news release. The data collection staff and their vehicles will be registered with the police and the town.
When data collection is complete and checked for accuracy, a “Notice of New Values” will be mailed to each property owner and an informal hearings phase will begin, allowing anyone with questions to meet with a member of the assessor’s staff to discuss their property values, the news release said.
Homeowners are reminded that specific questions regarding their current assessment and taxes due should be directed to the town assessment and collection office. Data collectors are not prepared to answer questions concerning current values or town laws, Rainaldi said.
The main purpose of a revaluation is to correct inequalities in the tax burden that developed since the last revaluation. Although new values will not be known until late 2021, Rainaldi said, most revaluations shift the tax burden between commercial and residential real estate, along with shifts within those categories.
Rainaldi also reminded property owners that this is a revenue neutral process. The tax levy is not changed, so the total amount of taxes the town will need to collect will be the same. The change comes in the amounts individual taxpayers pay.
“Thus, in a revaluation,” Rainaldi said, “other things being equal, for every dollar that one taxpayer’s tax bill goes up, someone else’s tax bill goes down by the same corresponding amount.”
Jesse Leavenworth can be reached at [email protected]
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