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Frequently Asked Questions
Assessor

  • How has the market value of a property been determined?
  • What is the difference between assessed value and market value?
  • What is my "fair share" of property tax?
  • What is a mill rate?
  • How do I obtain information on a property in Greenwich?
  • What if I believe that my assessment is incorrect?
  • Who do I speak to if I discovered an error in the information on my property record card in the assessor's office?
  • What is a revaluation?
  • Why does Greenwich undertake revaluations?
  • When did the revaluation take effect?
  • How did the Town revalue all property?
  • What are the benefits of a revaluation for property owners?
  • When and where can I file for Senior Homeowner Tax Relief Benefits?
  • How did you arrive at the value of my automobile?


  • Q. How has the market value of a property been determined?
    A.
    A record of characteristics of land and buildings was collected and verified. This included defining neighborhoods within the Town. Factors such as the size of the lot and special features were considered. Also, the size, type, style, quality, age and condition of the dwelling were analyzed. Information on new construction, additions and remodeling was obtained. Outbuildings such as garages and swimming pools were noted. Other factors that have either a positive or negative impact on value from a buyer's perspective were also considered. Sales were verified and analyzed. A valuation model was created for improvements and land. Values were assigned to building areas and physical depreciation and functional obsolescence were subtracted to reach a net value for the buildings, and then the value of the land was added to reach a market value for the property. After model values were applied a field review of each property was conducted. Commercial properties were valued using the income approach to value which takes into consideration market rents, typical expenses and vacancy rates, and capitalization rates based upon what a typical investor in income producing property would expect for return of, return on and risk involved in particular types of properties. The special use properties and those where there were not enough income or sales data were valued by the cost approach. The approach basically adds the replacement cost less depreciation of the structures on a lot to the land value to arrive at an estimated market value.


    Q. What is the difference between assessed value and market value?
    A.
    The assessed value is 70% of the appraised market value and is used as the basis for determining the property taxes. Market value is the typical price that a willing buyer would pay a willing seller if the property were offered on the open market, granted the buyer and seller are not related in any way or under any pressure to buy or sell.


    Q. What is my "fair share" of property tax?
    A.
    The property tax is designed as an "ad valorem" tax, which means it is a tax based on the value of the property. An owner of a $1,000,000 property should pay twice as much in taxes as the owner of a $500,000 property. The market value of property is the standard that is used to determine one's fair share.


    Q. What is a mill rate?
    A.
    In Connecticut, property tax rates are expressed in mills, or thousandths of a dollar. A property tax rate of 10.111 mills (2010 mill rate), or .010111 expressed in decimal form, results in the payment of $10.111 for each $1,000 of the property's assessed value. Every spring the Board of Estimate and Taxation sets the mill rate in anticipation of the July tax billing.


    Q. How do I obtain information on a property in Greenwich?
    A.
    You may find the assessments and sales records in binders on the counter and online at the Town website, under the Assessor tab. Or property information can be accessed at the public computer terminals in the Assessor's office. You can print field cards for properties. That information includes various details about the parcel ID number, size, type, year built, ownership and assessment. Information is provided in the Assessor's section of the Town's website: View Assessments Online, View Sales Online & FAQs Frequently Asked Questions.


    Q. What if I believe that my assessment is incorrect?
    A.
    Property owners should check their assessment record to see if any errors in data or property characteristics are present. The Assessor will correct errors if found.

    If property owners are not satisfied with the results, they may apply for a hearing with the Board of Assessment Appeals (BAA) pursuant to Connecticut General Statute (C.G.S.) §12-111. Applications may be obtained at the Assessor's Office or on the Town's website. Appeals to the Board must be in writing on the prescribed application and postmarked or hand-delivered to the designated BAA office in Town Hall on or before February 20th.


    Q. Who do I speak to if I discovered an error in the information on my property record card in the assessor's office?
    A.
    Call the assessor's office and provide them with your name, phone number, parcel number and the nature of the error. The appraiser assigned to your neighborhood will follow up on the request by calling you and if necessary, setting up a day and time for an inspection of the property to correct the record.


    Q. What is a revaluation?
    A.
    A revaluation is an updating of all real property values as of October 1. A revaluation consists of appraising the value of the properties, both taxable and exempt, using recent sales, building costs and income and expense information from similar property types. All residential, commercial, apartments, industrial, vacant land, churches, school buildings and all other real estate are revalued.


    Q. Why does Greenwich undertake revaluations?
    A.
    Over time property values change at differing rates for various locations and property types. A revaluation ensures fairness and equity in the collection of revenue, needed to generate the funding of the Town budget. The purpose of the last (2010) revaluation was to eliminate any assessment inequities that developed since the implementation of the previous (2005) revaluation, ensuring an equitable distribution of the property tax burden among taxpayers. Values have declined in many areas and for many property types since 2005.


    Q. When did the revaluation take effect?
    A.
    The last revaluation was effective as of the October 1, 2010 Grand List (a document containing the value, ownership and description of all real and personal property). Taxes due in July 2011 and January 2012 are based upon the new October 1, 2010 assessments.


    Q. How did the Town revalue all property?
    A.
    The Town contracted with consultants to assist in the inspection of real properties, with the analysis of sales, and the review of calculated values. The consultants also met with the public to answer questions about the methods utilized and the resulting assessments. Local appraisers and experts on valuing specific types of properties were enlisted to assist Assessor's Office staff. The Assessor's Office directed all activities of the revaluation consultants, and oversaw quality control and valuation analyses. We developed valuation models based upon sales data collected since the last revaluation.


    Q. What are the benefits of a revaluation for property owners?
    A.
    A revaluation had previously been conducted in Greenwich for the October 1, 2005 Grand List. Subsequently, property values changed. Properties underwent changes including renovations and deterioration. Over time, different neighborhood values changed at different rates. Different types and classes of properties changed in value at different rates. The fairness or equity of the property tax depends on whether similar properties are treated alike. If the assessments do not keep pace with property changes and market conditions, inequities creep into the Grand List. When that occurs, some property owners may be assessed higher than those with comparable homes. They may be paying more than their fair share of property taxes, while others are paying less. The 2010 revaluation of all properties corrected inequities and inaccuracies so that each property taxpayer pays his or her fair share.


    Q. When and where can I file for Senior Homeowner Tax Relief Benefits?
    A.
    To file for state and local Senior Homeowner's Tax Relief Benefits, you must complete an application, which is available in the Assessor's Office, and file it between February 1st and May 15th.


    Q. How did you arrive at the value of my automobile?
    A.
    Connecticut Assessors use the NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) appraisal guide for automobile valuations. The assessed value of the motor vehicle is 70% of the published average retail selling price. If you disagree with the assessment, the Board of Assessment Appeals holds hearing in September each year to hear motor vehicle appeals to the assessed values. The time and date of the hearing is published in the Greenwich Time in August, or call the assessor's office for information.


     
    Department Information
    · General Information
    · Real Estate
    · Personal Property
    · Motor Vehicles
    · Income & Expense Reports
    · Senior Tax Relief
    · Veterans Exemptions          
    · Revaluation 
    · Send Assessor Email
    Useful Links
    · 2015 Reval-Prelim Residential Values
    · View and Pay Taxes
    · View Sales
    · 2015 Grand List Totals 
    · View 2016 Assessments 
    · Sample Property Record Card 
    · 2015 Residential Revaluation Manual 
    · View Residential Neighborhood Map
    · Lineal Feet of Waterfront
    · Appeal my property assessment
    · Adjust a motor vehicle tax bill
    · Obtain information about real estate
    Board Information
    · Board of Assessment Appeals 
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    · Membership List
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