With Wilton homeowners currently scheduled for their five-year property revaluations this October, a proposed bill in the Connecticut state legislature would give municipalities like Wilton the option to delay those revaluations.

For many homeowners whose property values have increased, that means another year before those higher valuations result in property tax increases.

HB 5167

The stated purpose of the bill, HB 5167, is simple: “To allow municipalities to delay the revaluation of real property by one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

If the bill passes, “any municipality may, by vote of its legislative body, delay for a period not to exceed one year the implementation of a revaluation initiated prior to the assessment year commencing on October 1, 2023.”

In a recent meeting with the Board of Finance to discuss the Town’s updated Grand List and mill rate projections, First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice stated that she supports such a postponement, due to the spike in selling prices of Wilton homes in recent months.

“We have this spike, and if it doesn’t sustain, we’ve [done the revaluations] based on that spike and we have to live with that for five years,” Vanderslice said at the March 8 meeting.

In the revaluation process, property values are based on the previous 18 months of sales — for a 2022 revaluation, that would be Apr. 1, 2021 to Sept. 30, 2022. However, that new valuation will be in place for five years.

Is Postponement Likely? Yes, Says Vanderslice

When questioned by the Board of Finance recently as to whether the one-year deferral of the revaluation was likely, Vanderslice responded, “Yes.”

GOOD Morning Wilton reached out to Vanderslice to understand why she’s confident about a postponement.

In an email exchange, Vanderslice told GMW she believes there is “broad support” for the bill among municipal and state leaders.

She also said Connecticut’s Office of Policy and Management (OPM), which is responsible for the oversight of grand lists and revaluations, had previously surveyed towns to determine their interest in a postponement. Vanderslice personally spoke with OPM’s Martin Heft, the OPM Undersecretary who is working with the legislature on the subject, and told him Wilton would like to see the measure enacted.

“Demand is still outstripping supply, causing potential buyers to bid [over the] asking [price],” Vanderslice said. “Since the revalued market value will not change for five years, my sense from those I have spoken with is that most residents would prefer a little more time to see how the housing market plays out before being tied for five years to a much higher market value for property tax purposes.”