Towns regularly assess properties to determine their value and therefore the amount of municipal property tax the property owner will pay. Some towns do this regularly while others do so not so regularly. For example, Danbury CT only reassess properties every 5 years. The last town-wide property tax assessment in Danbury CT was performed in 2017, well before the COVID boom.
Why are property tax assessments necessary?
The amount of property tax an owner pays in Connecticut is a relatively simple formula. The town first appraises the fair market value (FMV) of the property, then assesses it’s tax value at 70% of the FMV, and applies the mill rate for that town. The mill rate changes every year, and is how many dollars in tax per $1000 of assessed value is due in tax.
Property Tax Assessment = (FMV x .7)/1000 x Mill Rate
In order to make this equation work, we need to know what the Mill Rate and the FMV. The Mill Rate is published by the town and is the same for all properties in that municipality. What the town presumes is the fair market value of a property, however, can vary from property to property and year to year.
Why have my property taxes gone up?
If your property taxes have changed, either the mill rate changed or the fair market value the town appraised your property at changed.
The mill rate is outside of the property owners control; it could be based on a multitude of town-wide factors.
The fair market value of the property could have changed because it was improved greatly, such as a renovation or the addition of a capital improvement such as a garage; or the general market changed and property values went up across the board.
Can Municipal Property Tax Assessments Be Appealed?
Yes, municipal property tax assessments can be appealed if they are genuinely inaccurate. There are strict time frames for appeals. Appeals can be made to the Board of Assessment Appeals for the town, or in more egregious circumstances directly to the Superior Court.
If you would like the assistance of an attorney when making your municipal property tax appeal, please consider hiring Glouzgal Law PLLC to represent you in the process. You can reach us by calling 203-885-0500 or by filling out the contact form below.