The following is an OP-ED from Wilton’s first selectwoman, Lynne Vanderslice.
The other day, someone came to see me in an attempt to understand the property tax increase for his home. The individual hadn’t followed information previously provided about the revaluation. For anyone else in the same boat, here’s what you missed:
- The total revalued grand list was down approximately 2%, with approximately one-half of single-family homes up in assessed value, one-half of single family home down in assessed value and over two-thirds of condominiums up in value and one-third down in value.
- Although the tax levy–the amount the town must collect from taxpayers–was down by approximately $1 million (due primarily to lower debt service and flat Boards of Education and Selectmen budgets), the mill rate increased by 1.24% because of the decline in the grand list. The mill rate is calculated by dividing the tax levy by the grand list.
- Your individual taxes are calculated by multiplying the mill rate by each $1,000 of your assessed value. For example, if your home has an assessed value of $500,000, you would multiply $500 times the mill rate of $28.5373 to arrive at a tax of $14,269.
- In a year with no revaluation and no improvements to your home, your taxes would have gone up 1.24%, the same rate of increase as the mill rate. But in a revaluation year, your tax change is also impacted by the change in your assessed value.
- If you are one of the residents whose home or condo dropped in value by more than a couple percentage points, then you likely saw a tax decrease. If, on the other hand, your property went up in value, you likely saw a tax increase greater than 1.24%.
If you are dissatisfied with your assessment, whether or not you appealed your assessment to the Board of Assessment Appeals this year, you can appeal your assessment next year. Just remember, although that grand list will be as of Oct. 1, 2019, the assessment is the value as of Oct. 1, 2017 and is based on the sales from Oct. 1, 2016 and Oct. 1, 2017. Appeals will be held in either March or April of next year. For a reminder, sign up for news and announcements from the Assessors office on the Town’s website.
In the meantime to avoid interest, please pay your taxes online, by mail, by phone or in person by the end of the grace period on Aug. 1, 2019. If done after Aug. 1, interest accrues from the July 1 due date. There are no exceptions. Details on payment methods are available on the Town’s website.