Homeowners and property owners may have received or may soon be receiving written notice from their local Assessor’s Office that their town or city has revalued (and most likely increased) their property assessment. When the municipality sets the new mill rate in the spring, this new assessment could lead to an increase in property taxes.  

Recent revaluations in both Weston and New Canaan have caused a stir among residents of those towns.

Revaluation Process

By state statute, a municipality must undergo a revaluation of properties every five years to update fair market values of real estate. Generally, a municipality hires an outside appraisal company that relies on complex algorithms and real property market information to compute what it believes to be the fair market value for each property. That new fair market value is then used to calculate the assessed value, which is 70% of the calculated fair market value. The new assessed value multiplied by the new mill rate generates the new property tax bill.

The Appeal Process

Homeowners and property owners can appeal the new valuation if they believe that their municipality overvalued their property. This recourse and the applicable deadlines, which must be met by statute, will be outlined in the initial notice to you from the municipality.  

Generally, homeowners may first be invited to discuss the recent valuation and the process with the outside appraisal company soon after the notices are sent out. This may be a good opportunity to gather information from the company as to the valuation process and present your arguments for the company’s reaction or rebuttal, all of which may help inform your appeal process moving forward.

The next stage is critical and necessary: a homeowner or property owner must file an appeal by February 20, 2024 with the municipality’s Board of Assessment Appeals. You must file an appeal with the Board of Assessment Appeals to preserve your right to challenge the valuation in court. If the Board of Assessment Appeals rules against you or provides insufficient relief, you then have the right to file an appeal in state court.

For these appeals, homeowners will benefit from consulting with an attorney about their specific situation and how to undertake the appeals. Additionally, it may be necessary to retain a private appraisal of your own to corroborate your position and to properly evaluate the merits of your appeal. For more information or a consultation, please contact Thomas B. Noonan or another BW attorney. 

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