Connecticut’s local governments rely on property tax as a main source of revenue. After all other sources of revenue have been deducted from the total budgeted expenditures of a municipality, the property tax rate is determined by the budget-making authority at a figure which will produce the additional revenue needed to balance the annual budget.
Two classes of property are subject to taxation – real and personal property. Real property includes land and improvements that are permanently attached to the land. Personal includes all other property not classified as real property, such as, but not limited to, machinery, equipment, furniture, fixtures, motor vehicles and leased equipment.
How is property valued?
State law requires that properties be valued at their "present and true actual value", which means fair market value. The primary purpose of revaluation is to provide equalization of all property types and classes. The revaluation process is not intended to increase revenue, but rather, to keep the fair market value current, to insure that properties, which have changed in value, are equitably assessed. New construction completed after October 1, is added to the prior Grand List and is prorated from the date a Certificate of Occupancy is issued. Standard price guides are used in determining the value of your motor vehicles. Owners of taxable personal property are required to annually file a declaration by November 1 with the Assessor's office of all owned or leased property. Failure to
return a properly completed declaration will result in the Assessor valuing the property and adding a 25% assessment penalty.
How is the tax (mill) rate established?
The Grand Levy is the amount of revenue in the Annual Town Budget, which must be raised by the property tax. The balance required is received from fees, state and federal assistance and miscellaneous revenue. The Grand List is a listing of all taxable properties located within the Town on October 1, of the grand list year. The property tax rate is expressed in mills or thousandths of a dollar. A tax rate (mill rate) of 43.62 mills is equivalent to $43.62 of taxes per $1,000 of assessed value. The tax rate is determined by dividing the Grand Levy by the Grand List.
When should I expect my tax bill?
Property tax bills are sent out once in June of each year. Each tax bill totaling $300 or less is due in a single installment on July 1. Tax bills greater than $300 are due in semi-annual installments on July 1, and January 1. If you sold your real estate and receive a tax bill, please forward the bill to the new owner, or return it to the tax office with mailing instructions. If you no longer own the motor vehicle on which the tax bill is based, contact the Assessor's office. Remember that when you receive your tax bill, nine months of the year covered by the bill have already passed. Never ignore a tax bill. Taxes will remain due and interest will continue to accumulate until the bill is paid or removed by the assessor. If you fail to receive your tax bill, call the Tax Collector's office. Failure to receive a
tax bill does not exempt taxes or interest. You are responsible for obtaining your tax bill and paying the taxes on time.
What is a Supplemental Motor Vehicle Bill?
Vehicles registered between October 2, and the following July 31, will appear on a "Supplemental Motor Vehicle List" provided to the Assessor by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The assessed value of each "supplemental" vehicle is prorated based upon the month of registration. If you traded in a vehicle for the new vehicle, all taxes must be paid on the vehicle traded in. You will receive a credit on the supplemental bill based on the total taxes billed on the original vehicle. Supplemental Motor Vehicle bills are sent out at the end of December and are due in one installment on January 1.
What if I dispose of a vehicle after October 1st?
You may be entitled to a credit or refund, if your vehicle is sold and not replaced, destroyed, stolen or removed from Connecticut and registered in another state. Your tax bill will be prorated by the Assessor's office based on the month in which it was disposed. A request for adjustment must be made in the Assessor's office and written documentation regarding the disposal must be provided. Application for adjustment should be made as soon as the vehicle is disposed, since there is a statutory time limit on motor vehicle adjustments. Failure to apply on time will result in denial of the pro-ration.
Who do I pay, if I move within Connecticut?
Motor vehicle taxes are due to the municipality where your lived on October 1, so even if you moved by the time you received your tax bill the following July, you must still pay the Town where you resided on October 1. Make sure you notify the Department of Motor Vehicles as soon as you move and also let the Assessor's and Tax Collector's offices have your new address as well. All delinquent motor vehicle taxes are reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles. You will not be able to renew or register any vehicle in your name, until all taxes, interest and collection costs are paid in full.
What if I sell my real estate?
The tax levied during the year of sale is usually prorated by the settlement attorney based on the date of the sale. The original owners pay the taxes due for the portion of the year that they owned the property and the new owner pays the taxes due after the date of the sale. Be sure to notify the Tax Office of the sale so that we can send out a tax bill to the new owners for the balance of the year.