information is not official. Also, we apologize for bad links that we may have missed - some are no longer valid.
TUTORIAL Q&A (L.) RE: RE-EVALUATION OF PROPERTIES IN WESTON,
CT - VIDEO ("MY ISN'T THAT BIG") AND 2008 LAND USE UNOFFICIAL (R.)
map of non-conforming
lots in Weston, CT.
Simplified Land Use 2008 (at right above) - residential - yellow 2 acre, orange
less than 2 acres; open space - green; public-semi-public - blue.
NOT IN WESTON: Interesting issue in
Montville and some
questions - why was property, already sold, assessed
for what it used to be, rather than what it sold for?
C O N T E N T S O F T H I
S P A G E
Start your engine for a new Legislative Session 2019
What about out-of-state-plates? Are some just tax-dodges? Below the last paragraphs in the story from CTNEWSJUNKIE:
"...Municipal aid is one of a handful of “non-fixed”
costs in the state budget and there’s a concern that the current budget
deficit will force Gov.-elect Ned Lamont to cut municipal aid.
"In a letter to Lamont, Office of Policy and Management Secretary
Ben Barnes suggested that it’s one of the places the newly elected
governor could find savings in order to balance the budget.
"Barnes suggested canceling new tax cuts promised in the budget
adopted earlier this year by the General Assembly, transferring part of
the Teacher’s Retirement System to municipalities, reducing the flow of
money under the volatility cap to the Rainy Day Fund, reducing rates
paid to certain Medicaid providers, and 'reducing Municipal Aid where
News of Norwalk reval - and how they are going about getting preliminary questioning...
WHAT HAPPENED AT MEETING 11AM TO A BIT AFTER 12 NOON:
The hour long “tutorial” on reassessment now online at Town website: https://vimeo.com/297773670
Representatives of E-QUALITY read the questions sent in and answered
them. Further discussion of pertinent issues related to neighborhoods,
land value and other matters (S.A.L.T. deduction limit) were addressed
in additional discussions. Those present in the audience represented a
group of homeowners, those involved in P&Z and About Town. First
Selectman Chris Spaulding was present as well.
Denise Hames, the Tax Assessor, began the meeting with a schedule
(approx.) of what is happening - all reassessment work is done:
• End of November Westonites all get the new reval numbers (70% of home value)
• December hearings for those who want to meet with company who did the new assessments
• January 2019 final of new Grand List (Tax Assessors signs it)
• February 1 – 20 for appeal of assessments
Tax bills of July 2019 and January 2020 will be the first based upon the new assessments.
W A R N I N G - NOW THIS IS THE WAY TO DO IT!!!
Our first question: Is it safe to assume that the tendency to
decrease values for the larger homes and thus effectively raise the
value of small homes proportionally, may continue?.
Question #2: What is the story on LAND VALUES?
WHEN DID THIS LATEST PROCESS START?
Selectmen decide on company for Weston revaluation
By Gregory Menti on June 19, 2017
Read story at Weston FORUM website (which no longer exists).
Weston’s 2013 grand list shrinks by 12.43%
By Kimberly Donnelly on January 29, 2014
The town’s net grand list has shrunk by $330.6 million, a 12.43%
decrease, compared with a 0.18% increase in growth last year and 0.73%
the year before.
“The decrease was due to the recent revaluation of real property, which
makes up about 95% of the grand list,” said Ken Whitman, Weston’s
assessor. “Despite the recent uptick in the market in the past year,
real estate values are down from the 2008 market, the last time a
townwide revaluation was performed.”
Revaluation of real estate assessments must take place every five years.
First Selectman Gayle Weinstein said that while revaluation can make
the grand list decrease seem shocking, “we thought there was going to
be a much worse drop in values than we saw.”
Ms. Weinstein said neighboring towns of Wilton and Redding went through
revaluation last year and saw decreases to their grand lists that were
in the 17% range.
“We were actually pleasantly surprised,” she said...
Please search the Weston FORUM archives for the remainder of this story.
Reval notices sent to Weston
By Kenneth Whitman, Weston Tax Assessor on December 19, 2013
The 2013 revaluation of Weston real estate is entering its penultimate
The field review stage is complete, as well as the analysis of market
sales and the establishment of preliminary values. Notices will be
mailed shortly to each property owner showing the previous assessment,
based on the 2008 real estate market, and the proposed Oct. 1, 2013,
assessment. The 70% assessment is the value upon which taxes are based.
Taxpayers should bear in mind that these values reflect the change in
the real estate market from October 2008 to October 2013, a period in
the market that showed significant fluctuations, first downward, then
stabilizing with a mild rebound in the past year. Over the five-year
period between revaluations, the overall effect on values is generally
It is also important to note that state law requires the assessor to
value as of Oct. 1. Sales after October are not allowed to be used in
the rigid performance-based testing required for the state to certify
the accuracy of the revaluation...
Please search the Weston FORUM archives for the remainder of this story.
By The Forum Staff on April 21, 2013
Weston is in the process of conducting its state-mandated revaluation
of all real estate in the municipality for the Oct. 1 2013 grand list.
Assessor Ken Whitman made this announcement in an email message he sent
this week to the Forum.
“The effect of the revaluation will be reflected in the taxes payable
July 2014/January 2015. Assessed values will reflect the real estate
market as of Oct. 1, 2013.”
State law requires that revaluations be conducted at least every five
years. The last revaluation in Weston was done for the 2008 grand list...
Please search the Weston FORUM archives for the remainder of this story.
Oxford sees a gain in Grand List
Posted on January 30, 2014 | By Michael P. Mayko
OXFORD-The town registered a 1.7 percent increase in its 2013 Grand
List over the previous year.
The new Grand List numbers are $1,426,266,555 in 2013 compared to
$1,408,352,670 in 2012. Grand List totals determine whether taxes
go up or down. The town saw across the board increases, according
to Eva Lintzner, the assessor.
The biggest jump was in personal property which saw a 5.11% increase or
nearly $4.3 million from $83,652,640 in 2012 to $87,923,140 last year.
Motor Vehicle property increased 3.28% from $107,885,200 to
$111,423,260 while real estate was up .83% from $1,216,814,830 to
Revaluation renders residents
By Frank MacEachern
Posted: 01/12/2009 02:44:42 AM EST
NORWALK - Though several meetings are scheduled this month to discuss
property revaluation, so far residents aren't saying much about it, two
neighborhood association presidents said. Maybe it's because
residents still are digesting the recent tax bills they received, or
maybe they are taking their concerns straight to the city, the
neighborhood leaders said.
"Most people just got their tax bill, and that's from last year. It's
not the revaluation tax bill yet," said Leigh Grant, president of the
Norwalk Association of Silvermine Homeowners.
Laurel Lindstrom, president of the East Norwalk Neighborhood
Association, said it could be that residents, concerned about the value
assessed to their homes, have taken matters into their hands.
"With the deadlines they need to appeal, they are more likely to have
gone to the city about this," Lindstrom said...
Please search the Norwalk HOUR archives for the remainder of this story.
what does the reval company do here in Weston?
We guess there will be no increase on the value of residential
property...from October 1, 2003, but the shift in tax burden will go to
the shrinking middle-value properties--sort of like the rest of the
U.S. economy! See our previous study below
State's Housing Prices Plunge In May
By KENNETH R. GOSSELIN | Courant Staff Writer
10:54 AM EDT, July 1, 2008
The decline in the median sales price of single family houses in
Connecticut gathered increased momentum in May, plunging by nearly 11
percent percent, the biggest drop since 1992 when the state was digging
out of a deep recession...
Many economists say the housing downturn nationally -- and in
Connecticut -- isn't likely to bottom out until well into 2009.
The state's median sales price, where half the sales are above and half
below, was down 10.8 percent, to $272,000, from $305,000 a year ago.
Hartford County fared better than the state as a whole, with median
prices slipping 4 percent, to $234,900, from $244,900 a year ago. Sales
in Hartford County plunged nearly 23 percent.
"Clearly, this downturn is showing no signs of relenting, and without a
pickup in sales, it could be more severe than the last one," said
Timothy J. Warren Jr., chief executive of Warren...
Fairfield County saw the
median sales price fall 13 percent in May, to $545,000, from $627,500 a
year ago. Sales plummeted 35 percent.
Only one county, Tolland, showed a gain in May, rising 6 percent, to
$267,500, from $252,250 a year ago, even as sales fell 21
percent...Please search the Hartford Courant archives for the
remainder of this story.
Some Property Appraisals
Askew In Montville; Developer's willingness to pay dearly doesn't
benefit town's tax base
By Paul Choiniere
Published on 2/20/2007
Montville — On July 26 a modest 654-square-foot home at 46 Massapeag
Side Road sold for a whopping $1 million. The homeowners were among the
latest in that neighborhood to benefit from a developer's willingness
to pay high prices for land near the Mohegan Sun casino.
But when the town completed a property revaluation in October, the
value of the million-dollar home was appraised at $172,740. That gives
it a tax assessment of $120,920. Assessments represent 70 percent of
The company that acquired it, Mohegan Hill Development, LLC, will pay
property taxes based on that assessment, not the $1 million purchase
Behind the purchases is the Tarragon Corp., which operates as Mohegan
Hill in southeastern Connecticut. A publicly traded company, Tarragon
specializes in luxury resort communities in urban settings.
The Day examined real estate records for 33 properties Mohegan Hill
Development has purchased over the last few years, and found in each
instance the newly appraised values were significantly below the sale
prices...Please search the New London DAY archives for the remainder of this story.
C O M M E N T S
Posted - 2/20/2007 8:35:55 AM
I am petrified to receive my new tax bill in June. Without seeing
anyone and without any changes in my property, my assessment DOUBLED
(less nine dollars).I always thought my taxes were too high to begin
with and now this. My wife and I are driving 11 and 15 year old
vehicles to keep our taxes down. Having just retired,I don't think I'll
be able to afford to pay Montville's mistakes.
- 2/20/2007 9:58:22 AM
Posted - 2/20/2007 8:11:16 AM
The whole idea of market value is the amount of money a willing buyer
and seller are both willing to enter into a transaction to complete.
The motivation is not material. The stock market, the greatest market
for establishing free market value, has many stocks which many would
consider "over value." IF A DEVELOPER PURCHASES A PROPERTY THEY SHOULD
PAY TAXES ON THE PRICE PAID, THE MARKET VALUE. If they do not want to
pay the taxes negotiate the price, take an option on the property and
once they have assembled the property(s) needed they can buy them all
at once and move forward.
(they had reval in 2001)...
By Neil Vigdor Greenwich TIME Staff
February 3, 2004
The Grand List -- Boasting the largest
tax base of any community in the state, Greenwich reported the Grand
reached an all-time high of $20.1 billion last year. The
figure eclipsed the previous high of just more than $20 billion in
when a townwide revaluation nearly doubled property tax assessments.
new, estimated Grand List
is $2.27 billion - and increase of 27.5% since 1999.)
Grand List is the sum of all
taxable property -- includes residential, commercial and industrial
land owned by utilities, vacant land, personal property and
Last year's Grand List dropped below $20 billion because of appraisal
stemming from the Board of Assessment Appeals and court settlements.
community's tax base is significantly
higher than second-place Stamford, according to Greenwich Assessor John
"Ted" Gwartney. "I think we always have been and always will be,"
said Gwartney, who signed the Grand List last week. Stamford's Grand
stands at about $15.8 billion. The
value of residential property -- which is 70 percent of its appraised
-- in Greenwich increased marginally from about $16.2 billion in 2002
about $16.4 billion in 2003, according to Gwartney.
assessed value of the town's
959 commercial properties rose half a percent, from $1.96 billion in
to $1.97 billion in 2003...
W E S T O N R E V A
L 2 0 0 9 : http://www.westonct.gov/324211
the Board of Selectmen Thursday, March 5, 2009, Town Assessor explained
the reval process as it took place in Weston in these difficult times,
and some highlights.
2008 revaluation...notices...were online at www.visionappraisal.com
by clicking the "Online Database Access" button, then "Connecticut",
and finally, "Weston, CT".
- Click here for more information. Not sure
- Click here for revaluation chart showing
value trends from 2003 - 2008.
We got ours (small house)...over
all, up @5%.
Weston revaluation notices are
being sent this week
Written by Kenneth Whitman, Weston Assessor
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The 2008 revaluation of Weston real estate is coming to fruition.
The physical inspection and field review stages are complete, as well
as the analysis of market sales and the establishment of preliminary
Notices will be mailed shortly to each property owner showing the
current value, based on the 2003 real estate market, and the proposed
Oct. 1, 2008 value. The 70% assessment upon which taxes are based is
Taxpayers should bear in mind these values reflect the change in the
real estate market from October 2003 to October 2008, a period in the
market that showed significant early appreciation before the more
recent downturn since 2006-07. Therefore, over the five-year period
between revaluations, the overall effect on values is minimal.
It is also important to note that Connecticut state law requires the
assessor to value as of Oct. 1. Sales after October are not allowed to
be used in the rigid performance-based testing required for the state
to certify the accuracy of the revaluation.
Because the real estate market has continued to decline since Oct. 1,
these changes cannot be reflected in the 2008 revaluation figures.
Another important fact — and misconception — about revaluations is that
they do not raise revenue for the town. Assessments of all taxable
property are simply used as a base for establishing how much each
taxpayer will pay in taxes. However, the total amount of the tax levy
(total dollars raised through taxation) is based on the budget process,
i.e., how much the town needs to fund the schools, public safety,
public works, health and sanitation, social services, library, parks
and recreation, and general government.
If the propery values increase, the tax rate will decrease, and if the
values decrease, the tax rate will increase based on the revaluation
Finally, let me stress that the values being mailed this week are
preliminary values. The assessor encourages each taxpayer to review the
value and the information contained in the property record for each of
Consider this phase of the revaluation to be the “public participation”
phase. Information on all real property in the town of Weston will be
available for perusal by all Weston taxpayers to compare and analyze.
Information on the Web site (www.westonct.gov) and how to request an
informal meeting to discuss your property will be contained on the
valuation notice that you will receive.
After reviewing the public feedback, the assessor will carefully
re-analyze the values and methodology of the revaluation company and
issue final valuation and assessment notices, probably toward the end
inspection moves to final
section of Weston
Saturday, August 09, 2008
The Weston property revaluation team will be inspecting the final
section of town in its initial data collection phase.
The southwest section of town by the Wilton and Westport borders will
be visited by the Vision Appraisal team of Marcus Irrek, Lee Galban and
Jason Dzilinski. When this section is completed, the team will
concentrate on “callbacks” to those properties where they were unable
to gain access.
The inspectors have Town of Weston photo ID badges, and their names and
vehicle information are registered with the Weston Police Department.
Homeowners are asked to instruct on-site employees to ask for proper
identification when allowing them access to the property.
Notification letters were mailed this week to residents in these
neighborhoods. If the owner is not available after three “cold calls,”
a second notice will be mailed later in the summer to allow for an
appointment at a more convenient time. Residents will not receive a
telephone call prior to this phase of the inspection process.
The inspector will ask to measure and record information on the
exterior of the property as well as inspect the interior and record
information, such as number of rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, and plumbing
fixtures, type of heating, and air conditioning, flooring, ceiling
height, as well as non-living areas such as porches, garages, utility
rooms, and basement and attic space. They will not consider interior
decorations, furnishings, personal property, and amenities typically
not included in the sale of real estate.
Ken Whitman, the town assessor, will continue to personally inspect
homes throughout town that have recently sold.
These inspections are being requested to give the homeowner an
opportunity to convey any unconventional conditions of the sale or
issues that may not be reflected in the sale price, as well as to
control the quality of the work of the revaluation personnel. Since the
ultimate goal of appraising all properties in Weston is to produce
accurate and equitable values, it is extremely important that the
assessor view all sold properties, he said. These properties will be
the “comparable sales” that are used to value all unsold properties.
The assessor will also continue to perform exterior field inspections
of all recent sales since July 1, 2008. Expect to see the town’s white
Toyota Prius, license plate number 3 WE, driving into driveways in a
neighborhood near you.
Mr. Whitman said he extends his appreciation to the taxpayers of Weston
for their assistance in completing this important five-year project.
are the prospects for any increase at all in the Grand List for Reval
begins its revaluation
by KEN WHITMAN, Weston Assessor
Nov 28, 2007
Weston is in the process of conducting its state-mandated revaluation
of all real estate in the municipality for the October 2008 grand
list. The effect of the revaluation will be reflected in
the taxes payable
July 2009 through January 2010.
Recent state legislation requires that revaluations now be performed at
least every five years, changed from the previous four-year schedule.
The last revaluation in Weston was implemented for the 2003 grand
The new law also requires that all real property be physically
inspected every 10 years. Weston is due for a full physical inspection
for the 2008 revaluation.
To accomplish the task of collecting data and inspecting all real
estate parcels, the town has contracted the firm of Vision Appraisal
Technology of Northboro, Mass. Vision’s property appraisers will be
visiting residents beginning the first week of December. The
appraisers will have identification badges issued by the town and
will be registered with the Weston Police Department.
The initial visits will be announced via notification letters mailed
this week, and through The Weston Forum as the inspections progress.
The first neighborhoods to be inspected will be the Georgetown Road
area, beginning at the Redding/Wilton borders.
If property owners are not available, a notice will be left on the
premises to allow for a later appointment at a more convenient
time. Several properties, including recent sales, will be
inspected a second
time by the assessor for quality control purposes. Recent sale
properties will also be mailed a sales questionnaire to
verify the circumstances of the transaction and determine the veracity
of the sale.
The assessor is the town’s real estate appraiser and the revaluation is
the assessor’s opportunity to garner any and all data relevant to the
appraisal process. The better the data, the better able the assessor is
to accurately value property. The revaluation is expected to be
completed in the fall of 2008, with
preliminary valuation notices mailed to all real estate taxpayers in
For more information, call Ken Whitman at 203-222-2606.
A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS
Map of non-conforming lots (predating two-acre zoning in 1953) in Weston
(prepared by About Town in advance of update of Town Plan).
For your reference:
2004" in Weston:
which properties increased in value the most?
First of all, Weston's Grand List
increased overall by 27.5%...
the top of this page and just above, is a map
of the non-conforming lots in the Town of Weston (i.e. those of size
than two acres each). From early analysis, "About Town" thought
these properties would be the big losers this time. This turns
necessarily to be the case.
appears that any vacant
land increased at the fastest rate. Next after vacant sites, came
any property in the vicinity of either a 1)new home or 2)a
knock-down/new home replacement or 3)a major addition to an
older home. After all, no one actually did a full inspection of
properties--it was a matter of "drive-by assessment" plus updating
of building permits! IN
2008 THERE WILL BE FULL INSPECTIONS OF ALL PROPERTIES.
Thinking about property wealth as
relative might be a reasonable thing to do as we review Town of Weston
reassessment. As the latest Walter Erikson-Theresa Brasco report
notes on page 1, Weston's income distribution from the U.S. Census 2000
for "families" (NOTE: "Family" income is higher than "Household"
income) shows 34.3% the families with income under $100,000 annually.
the Weston Town Plan
of Conservation and Development was updated @ year 2000, and included
1999 reval data and tables prepared with the assistance of the
Table 10 of that document is entitled "Profile of Weston Housing (3537
houses on 7418 acres)."
one cannot make a firm statement
correlating one set of data to another unrelated source, one might
assume that "lower income" Westonites reside in less expensive
Where do these "lower income" Westonites live? In homes valued in
1999 assessments as "under $500,000" - which accounted for
37% of all Weston homes at that time!
please note that the Oct. 1.
2003 Revaluation records all entries on the Grand List as 3786
(we assume this number correlates to definitions in the 1999
At the high end, about 50 properties
are assessed at more than $2 million (for the 70% assessment).
added to those properties assessed at $1 million (an additional 320
at 70% assessment), this represents roughly 10% of the total number of
properties on the Grand List.
started our analysis at the low
end, however. After reviewing the 172 properties listed at
$100k and $299k (at 70% assessment) we came to an interesting initial
The "bottom of the market,"
the least expensive parcels, increased in value between 1999 and 2003
a rate of 53.1% - vacant land leading the way at 55.5%. There are
71 properties (.018% of the total of 3786 in Weston) in this price
with houses on them. How did the rest of the market fare?
to the January 16, 2004 Weston FORUM, citing the Assessor, "generally,
properties have increased between 25% and 45%."
Town" checked...and checked...and
checked (our methodology considered valid by Town Assessor related to above comments, in brief
The samples so far ... we are being
consistent with the established methodology (100% of entries from 0-07
at each $100,000 of valuation, i.e. $600,000 to $607,000 of 70%
was the range of increase for
a home valued between $600k and $607k (70% of full value)? There
were 28 homes in this category, and they ranged between increases of
and 47% from 1999 to 2003.
used the same methodology for
the group $500k-507k, at 70%, and there were 71 homes in this category.
In this category the range fluctuated between 263% to 12% for "change"
in the 1999 to 2003 assessment periods. One home at 63% and one
73% increase were the next two greatest changes, at the other end
increase) there were similar examples falling outside the "normal
this time, the $700k-$707k group
(at 70% of full value) has been analyzed similarly. There were 21
homes in this category, and the range in this sample was 24%-64%.
SOURCES WE USED:
http://gis.vgsi.com/WestonCT/Search.aspx (no longer valid)
- For new assessments, the Town of Weston
- For 1999 assessments, Gold Imaging,
Inc. database (no longer valid).
- Map aboveof "non-conforming lots" produced by "About Town" previously.
- Analysis by "About Town" of 1999 and
2003 assessment information is original work, but is available to those
who visit us on the Internet.
NEW - Land value taxation (link to definition) and M.O.R.E. other things discussed in the past...
For example, in 2017, is it time to revise taxation of land
(underwater and "490")? Many municipalities will be "underwater"
if Governor's ideas hold sway- as we see it (i.e. passing on
Teacher's Retirement directly to towns).
SOURCE: (l-r) M.S. Wirtenberg "Weston
Non-Conforming Lots" map, watercolors of Saugatuck Reservoir - "Aerial
Saugatuck" and "Three Views of Saugatuck: Summer."