Nearly all of the owners of the 9,500 properties in town will receive a message in the mail today, or at the latest early next week, stating their tentative assessment for the Oct. 1, 2012 Grand List.
The move is part of the town’s ongoing revaluation. The values are still technically owned by the company that helped produce them, Vision Appraisal, as the town will not sign off on all values until the end of February.
Waterford Tax Assessor Michael Bekech said many of the values on properties that haven’t changed are likely to stay the same or possibly even drop. He said the last revaluation was done in 2007, at the height of the housing bubble, and real estate values have fallen since then.
“The grand list will go down,” Bekech said.
Meanwhile, personal property is assessed every year, so that sector will not experience the same drop, Bekech said. That means that personal property, which composes most of Waterford’s largest taxpayer, Millstone Power Station, will likely pay a larger percentage of taxes than it does now.
Bekech said since the town has not yet taken responsibility for the assessments, he could not comment directly on how much the grand list will change. He said he will be able to comment more in March, after the town signs off on the grand list and takes responsibility for all the values.
How To Challenge, Question Assessments
The requests for an appointment should be made directly through Vision Appraisal at 1-888 844 4300 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The owner has the second option of following the instructions on the notice to make their own appointment directly online.
The appoints must be scheduled before December 20, 2012 but, if the appointment is made prior to that date, Vision will be available as necessary to hold those meetings.
If the taxpayer is not satisfied with the outcome of the Vision Hearing and value response, they may file with the Board of Assessment Appeals. At this junction, the filing must occur prior to February 20th, 2013. However, in all likelihood the date will be extended by statute until March 20, 2013, if the extension to sign the Grand list is utilized.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated.