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Falling Assessments Account for 23% Drop In Grand List

Newtown Assessor Chris Kelsey has calculated the latest town grand list figures as of October 1, 2012, which indicate local property assessments are down 23.22 percent. As a result, many Newtown property owners will see a slight drop in their residential taxes this year.

But Mr Kelsey indicated that those slight adjustments could be equalized or offset by slight increases in motor vehicle taxes. He also noted that local commercial businesses, companies with significant personal property investments, and owners of some of Newtown largest homes will likely see tax increases.

“The drop in real estate values is exclusively attributed to the current revaluation,” Mr Kelsey told The Bee. He also reminded taxpayers that the last day to file appeals of their revaluations is March 20. Appeal forms are available to download on the municipal website, newtown-ct.gov - under the Assessor’s department tab.

The assessor said that the trend in the current revaluation shows a slight shift in the tax burden away from residential to commercial properties, because those commercial revaluations did not decrease as much as their residential counterparts.

And, he said some of the town’s larger homes did not drop as far in their assessments as most of the medium and smaller homes locally.

Mr Kelsey explained that at the time of the last revaluation in 2007, some of the larger properties were somewhat undervalued.

“So in the 2012 reval, we’re seeing a correction in those numbers,” he said, adding that in 2007 a $2 million home was valued at around $1.2 million.

“Now those values are more accurate,” he said. “That means those whose homes are valued at or over $850,000 will likely see an increase in taxes, despite the fact that overall resale values dropped on many homes.”

The assessor said that across Connecticut, not just in Newtown, when homes were undervalued based on the previous assessments, the owners were paying a little less than what they should have if the valuations were more accurate.

“Trending like this is typical statewide,” Mr Kelsey said. “And property owners should expect to pay taxes based on the valuation as of October 1, 2012.”

Newtown has 39,089 total taxable accounts, according to the latest Grand List, with a gross assessment of $3,062,661,197. The list also shows the town grants $29,694,582 in tax exemptions breaking down net collectable taxation as follows:

Net Real Estate:

Net Elderly/Disabled Home Owners: $2,650,551,448

Net Motor Vehicles: $52,303,904

Net Personal Property: $105,011,312

Bringing the total net assessments for this revaluation to $3,032,966,615.

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