Oct 01 2021

Appealing Your Property Tax Assessment

By Attorney Dorian Famiglietti / In Real Estate

The National Taxpayers Union estimates that between 30 and 60% of taxable property in the United States is overassessed. And while no one wants to pay more for taxes than they need to, fewer than 5% of homeowners challenge the assessed value of their home.

If you believe your property has been overvalued, read on for more information on how to appeal your property tax assessment.

Any person “aggrieved by the doings of the assessor” (i.e., any person who believes the Assessor has improperly valued their real estate) may appeal the action to the local Board of Assessment Appeals (BOAA). An appeal must be filed on or before February 20 of each year; however, the Town (not the property owner!) has the option of extending the deadline to March 20. Application forms and deadlines are available in the local Assessor’s office (and often on the Town’s website), and completed applications are filed in the Assessor’s office as well. The appeal must include the property owner’s estimate of value, which, although not mandatory, is usually supported by an appraisal. When estimating your property value, it should be as of the date of the Town’s last revaluation, not necessarily the current value. Revaluation is conducted by the Town every five years to establish the true and actual value of all real estate in town as of that assessment date (October 1).

The BOAA generally holds a hearing on all appeals during March, unless the deadline for filing was extended to March, in which case the hearings will be held in April. The property owner or their agent must attend the hearing and offer their evidence as to value. A written decision is sent to the property owner within one week of the hearing. If the BOAA reduces your assessment, it typically will stay fixed until the next revaluation. If the BOAA doesn’t reduce your assessment, you can appeal its decision to the Superior Court, which must be done within two months of the mailing of the decision. The pendency of an appeal, however, will not suspend an action by the Town to collect up to 75% of the tax assessed, or 90% if the property has an assessed value of over $500,000.  An attorney can advise you as to the pros and cons of an appeal.

If you think the assessment of your real estate is excessive and an appeal may be in order, please feel free to contact us at 860-646-1974 to discuss the matter with one of our attorneys.

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