Assessor of Taxes
The Town Assessor is charged by State law with discovering, describing, and valuing property, as well as the ownership of that property, for the purpose of taxation. Annually, the Assessor prepares a list of these properties and commits the assessments to the Town Tax Collector for collection. The records compiled by the Assessor are made available for public inspection at the Town Office. The Assessing Office then reports to the State Department of Revenue Services regarding its activities for the year.
- Why did my mortgage appraisal come in less than my assessment? Is my tax valuation too high?
A mortgage appraisal is an opinion of value. You probably paid for it, but it wasn't done for you, it was done for the lending institution. Its purpose is to assess risk.
We like to review the appraisal to make sure that the basic data agrees with what we have on file. We also pay close attention to the comparable sales used in the appraisal and often develop our own list of comparable sales. At that point, we have already checked our records to see if our information is correct and will then meet with you to discuss the issue.
- Is my assessed value what you think my house is actually worth?
Your tax-assessed value at a 100% average ratio is usually within 10% higher or lower than an actual sale might be.
While individual appraisals are opinions of property value based on a specific date and time and for a specific reason (refinancing, estate planning, etc), tax assessment is based on the mass appraisal method which deals with averages of sales in specific areas in a specific time period. Sales occurring after the assessment date are then part of the ongoing inventory of sales that determine when the next revaluation might occur.
- Why is my property assessed higher than my neighbors?
No two properties are identical in that their location may be very similar but never the same. In a given neighborhood lots with the same square footage should be the same price provided that they share all of the same amenities. This also applies to the homes, if two houses were built in the same year, have identical square footage, the same story height, the same construction detail, and have the same number of plumbing fixtures, fireplaces, outbuildings, etc., the values should be the same.