Wilton’s first selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice was joined by Wilton’s state representatives Gail Lavielle (R-143) and Tom O’Dea (R-125) to testify before the General Assembly’s joint Planning and Development Committee on Monday, Feb. 26. They were there to ask for support of H.B. 5181, An Act Extending the Municipal Revaluation Deadline for the Town of Wilton by One Year, which Lavielle proposed to the committee that it raise the bill, and which she is co-sponsoring.

In January, Wilton’s Board of Selectmen voted to postpone implementing the October 1, 2017 revaluation for one year, after town CFO Anne Kelly-Lenz said it would be nearly impossible to complete the revaluation process within the time required by the state. What caused the issue was the unexpected retirement of Wilton’s former tax assessor last November.

Lavielle’s introduction of the bill is the first of three steps to secure the one-year delay, as allowed per state statutes. The steps include:

  1. State Representative Gail Lavielle submit a bill, in the current year’s legislative session, to delay Wilton’s implementation of the revaluation until the October 1, 2018 grand list. In January, Vanderslice told the BOS that making such a request via bill is not unusual. “When we call Gail she said, ‘We see these every year.’”
  2. The timing of when an approval would be received is uncertain, so the town will also file an application with the CT State Office of Policy and Management (OPM) secretary for a waiver of penalties that could be imposed for not implementing the revaluation as scheduled. But that can’t happen earlier than 30 days after the October 1, 2017 grand list is filed, which must happen by Feb. 28.
  3. Request that the OPM secretary approve the year-long postponement of implementation because of the high number of expected appeals, something the Board of Assessment Appeals’ is likely unable to complete by the deadline. This request typically doesn’t happen until appeals have been filed, but Vanderslice said there’s evidence already showing there will likely be an unusually high level of appeals. Plus town officials want to prevent any possible errors that could lead to even more appeals.