The Assessor’s Office maintains a database of property values in the town and updates them every few years as needed to stay current with market values. We have completed such an update for the fall 2019 tax billing cycle. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions:
Why does the Assessor update valuations?
- To maintain reasonable estimates of what each property could sell for, as required by law
- To avoid large changes in tax bills
- To avoid the large expense of infrequent revaluations
- To help apportion the property tax burden fairly, as required by the state constitution
- To maintain information that's useful to homeowners and other real estate professionals such as appraisers, banks, brokers, surveyors, contractors, and property inspectors
How is the work done?
The Assessor’s office reviews its records by doing field visits of properties across town. It then reviews sales that have taken place recently, adjusting values in light of the current real estate market.
When was the last market update done?
Property values have been updated in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2014, 2010 (a devaluation year!), as well as in 2006 and 2002. The ongoing rise in the real estate market has necessitated the changes.
How can I participate?
If you feel that you have information that the Office should take into consideration, send the details via email to the tax assessor's office. Do not call, as electronic information results in better records: they are much easier to research, retain and respond to. Also, do not send a written letter unless your documentation cannot be sent electronically.
Here are a few other things to keep in mind:
- This process does not raise any 'new money' for the town; that is only done if the Town Council votes for it through the budget process.
- Property valuations are not the responsibility of the Town Council or Town Manager; they manage the budget, the spending process, and overall policies of town government. Valuations are the sole responsibility of the local assessor, who is a certified agent of the state.
- Property values are approximations. It is impossible to predict exactly what any given property will sell for.