March 1, 2017

Residents Address Questions on Increased Property Assessments to Tax Assessor

To the Editor:

It has come to our attention that a substantial proportion of homes in the Walnut-Cuyler-Dempsey neighborhood have had their assessments increased. As far as I know, no one has had their home’s assessment decrease.

We have several questions about the assessments.

I. The last town-wide assessment seemed to put a larger proportion of the taxes on low and middle cost homes (those under $800,000). Is that trend continuing or has the Western section of the town also had their assessments revalued upwards?

II. If the town’s assessed values of properties has increased, does that mean that the tax rate per assessed value will decrease, or is the reassessment a new name for a tax hike?

III. While the tax assessors’ office acts as though the value of our homes have increased, is it for real, or is it due to the new “large home builds” that are appearing in our neighborhood? I ask because those living in the neighborhood feel as though the newly constructed homes actually decrease the value of their existent homes. The builders have yet to pay much over $400,000* for the homes they tear down. Thus some of us feel that the assessments of our older homes should be decreasing since we can see a time when only builders, wanting our properties for pennies, will be the ones purchasing our homes.

IV. Was there a discussion about doing piecemeal reassessments in lieu of a town-wide revaluation as an agenda item at an open council meeting? We are interested in knowing why the decision was made and the benefits of doing it this way.

*I have been told that recently some builders have offered as much as $600,000.

Nancy Hall, Janet Young

Walnut Lane

Paul Raeder. Robert Holley, Cynthia A. Hedricks, Patricia Lofberg

Cuyler Road

Sarah and Dick Reichart, Debra
and Dominic Vigiano, Judy Koubek

Dempsey Avenue

Susan K. Stein

Terhune Road