Saturday, November 25, 2006

Holiday Weekend Open Forum

I got a notice about re-assessment from the town of Enfield the other day. Apparently, the assessed value of my home increased by something like 75%. Gah! I am not looking forward to my tax bill this year.

There was a lot of talk during the campaigns about property tax reform. Anytime, folks. Whenever you're ready.

Anything else happening this weekend?


disgruntled_republican said...


I brought this up last year when campaigning and said we need to prepare for it financialy as a town but it appears no one was listening as the Coucil has spent spent spent and depleated our savings...maybe they will bond our tax increases out.

All I know is it is time for a change. A new majority, a new way of governing.

Oh, and mine went up 72%

Anonymous said...

Your assessment went up which is GREAT NEWS because that means the value of your asset went up.

I'll wager your property taxes will go up between 2% and 5% just like they have forever and if you have a kid in school it your tax bil won't even cover Half of what it will cost to educate him/her this year.

Maybe I'm alone but I Gladly pay my taxes every year and think the things we all get for those taxes are the biggest bargain in life.

Anonymous said...

If everyone's assessment in Town goes up equally, it's not a problem. If one section is lower, then you could get wacked.

LitchfieldAngelina said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
GMR said...

From my experience in revaluations, just because your house went up 75% in assessed value doesn't mean your property taxes will go up 75%. If all the other properties in your town averaged a 100% increase, your property taxes will likely go down; if other properties rose 50% on average, your taxes are in for a nasty increase.

Revaluation is useful: it keeps the property taxes fair. If you don't revalue, the newer properties will bear a larger burden of taxes.

In 1978, California passed something called Proposition 13. This froze property tax assessments until the property is sold, at which points it resets to the sale price. The tax rate can be a max of 1%. Thus, you now have the situation where identical houses next door to each other can have property taxes that are 1/20th of the other.

Spending is of course the problem: the California prop 13 did nothing to stop taxes, it just shifted the burden from old homeowners to new homeowners. (Furthermore, California business properties rarely change ownership, since people buy and sell the companies, not the individual properties).

Mirror said...

The fact that your assessment rose 75% does not mean your taxes will go up. If everyone else's also rose 75% you will see a lower mill rate and pay exactly the same (assuming they do not increase spending next year). Obviously this will not happen but there will be a mix of increases and unless your property is unusually desirable ie; waterfront, you probably will see little change. Do however go down to the assessors and demand your property card and make sure it is accurate - no three car garages or hot water tubs, etc etc. they make a lot of mistakes. Also, if they do not have it , question why they do not have ALL property assessments ON LINE. This is a hot issue as it allows people to check up on the assessors work and data in determining local assessments - your assessment is based on the sales of homes like yours in your Immediate neighborhood. Sleazy assessors and selectmen try to keep this data hidden as much as possible as well as the formulas they use. Your appeal route from whatever is assessed is via the Board of Tax Appeals. Understand that this elected cabal is not on your side. They usually do not know what is right and too often take the word of the assessor. Also know that all their meetings and interviews are public - they cannot go into secret sesssion. If they do, file an FOI complaint and watch them run. In fact you might want to set up a watchdog group to go to all their meetings - it has been found that they suddenly start to rule in favor of the taxpayers when a spotlight is shone on them .

Scott Kaupin, District 3 Town Councilman said...

GC and DR:
My assessment went up 116% ... but I expanded my house just this year. I have had conversations with people in town and the range seems to be between 70% and 90%. The point that everyone is missing is the "shift" that takes place between residential property and business property. This is a statistical revaluation five years after our last full blown revaluation. Business property is revaluated every year and those property values have been dropping. Residential property owners will be responsible for a larger percentage of the taxes due to the higher values and the decrease in business property. The tax revenue could remain the same at $74.9 million, but homeowners will pay more because of the shift.

DR, we campaigned together stressing the need to prepare for revaluation, but the Democrat majority did not put in the effort to prepare. We would have started one year ago involving the community with a complete review of all town services. They decided to go a different way and operated in neutral for one year.

Enfield still deserves better, so perhaps the voters will understand it this time around.

Scott Kaupin, District 3 Town Councilman said...

Oh, and by the way you can check out all the assessments at and click on the Revaluation 2006 link. You can view the Property Record Information that includes a photo and many great details.

Anonymous said...

How much has the equity in your home increased over the last five years?

scott kaupin said...

2001 = $90,300 Market Value
2006 = $194,800 Market Value
Difference = $104,500
But I had $50,000 worth of work done on the house this year.
The increase in equity is great and I am not one to complain about paying taxes ... since I understand what our tax dollars pay for ... the services we want our town to provide.

Anonymous said...

Kevin Rennie lays a smackdown on Don Williams and his effort to repeal the First Amendment.,0,1199521.column?coll=hc-utility-home

Sadly he points out the apparent "Stockholm syndrome" of the local GOP to this outrageous proposal

Anonymous said...

When the Council adjust the Mill rate?

That should balnace the increase out, right?

Genghis Conn said...

Okay, I feel slightly better. As long as the shift was more or less consistent, the tax increase shouldn't be too bad.

Scott Kaupin said...

It's still the "shift" from business to residential that is the biggest concern. If homeowners become responsible for a larger percentage of all taxes collected, then a level funded budget may actually lead to a tax increase. Revaluation brings all components back in line with current fair market values. GC, I'm looking for town staff to get me information regarding a "revised grand list", "revised tax burden" for the four major tax components, and a "revised mil rate". Once I have this I'll share with you and you can see if the "revised mil rate" actually leads to a tax increase.

Genghis Conn said...

I look forward to it, Scott, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Depending on the community you can delay the reval. Stamford did this a couple of years ago but had to get special permission from Hartford to delay the reval. They were successful in part because they had Moira Lyons on their side. Short of a delay there can be a phase in which a town may do on its own without special permission. Revals should be done more on a 10 year cycle. Every 4 years tend to hurt the residential taxpayer more.

Anyway a delay should be done if the community screams for it and at the same time they are educated on the risk that is being taken. A delay could help greatly or do more serious damage as the sticker shock may be greater after the delay.

I am the Phantom...