Wait – I may have … gotten it backwards (I hope so!).
Someone else read the website the opposite: that all values went down (if so, I never expected that) because one column reads “Current Value” and the other column reads “2010 Value” – I reckoned that because this had not been officially implemented with regard to Tax Bills and because the bills always key off the last 6 months (not current) that the “2010? meant ‘new’.
So – after my little hissy fit, I might be wrong (it would be worth it for lower taxes!).
Many of you probably know that the recent Revaluation of Woodstock Properties for Tax Assessment purposes (performed by a third-party service provider named Tyler CLT “along with the Assessor”) seems to be complete and the New Assessed Values of Woodstock Properties can be found Online at the Websites listed below.
Imagine that: Assessed Values and therefore Property Taxes, have gone UP! A quick, unscientific ‘survey’ of various properties indicates that Assessed Values have risen from 15 – 30% (the website shows ‘current’ Value and “FY 2010 Assessed Value”).
The Assessor/Appraiser representing the service provider who performed the Reassessment sent notices and came to my propert(ies) and entered each house and building for a comprehensive Assessment. I expected values to rise (they always do, regardless of reality) – that is the nature of Tax Assessments. It’s all like a game of leap-frog: 1st, raise the Mill Rate, wait a while, 2nd raise the Assessed Value, wait a while, Repeat; but I did not expect such a steep increase!
It goes without saying that from the time of the last Assessment to this recent assessment, America, Connecticut and Woodstock have experienced a precipitous decline in property values and a depressed residential property market. Are they saying that they were far too low last time or that values truly did rise 15-30% ? What possible justification is there for such a dramatic increase in values and therefore Taxes!?!
I guess it must be the old ‘We need the money’ justification (or more likely ‘We are out of money’. OK, reality bites – but this does not seem the appropriate mechanism for obtaining needed funds. Yes, increases in Mill Rates is highly unpopular and often fail flat, but arbitrarily increasing property values to meet fiscal goals flat-out degrades the Assessment process and undermines the credibility of any future assessments (or did they have no credibility to undermine because of past behavior?)
I can see no reasonable justification for such an increase in property values done in the 4th or 5th year of the Great Recession and highly depressed property market, where the average home/residential property has actually declined 15-30% (I understand not everyone will agree with that specific number, but the notion remains the same regardless of the actual decline: values have declined precipitously). Whether the town should raise more revenue from residents through property taxes is a separate discussion and I do pose that question.
An artificial increase in assessed values done primarily (or even solely) to increase tax revenues. even though such increase flies in the face of reality and market conditions, seems short-sighted and kind of dishonest.
What do others think? Was this reassessment done properly? Are the new assessed values accurate and correct?
Here are the websites:
Main Website (then click on “Enter Online Database”):
Woodstock Values Database Website (Enter Name or Address, etc):
You can search the database a number of ways: Enter a name and see all properties owned by that person (these are Public Records), Enter a property address, by Map/Block/Lot/Unit, etc., etc.
Is this an issue that will cause uproar? Will everyone simply accept the new values and pay up? Does the town’s fiscal position affect people’s view on property value assessment or should it be 100% objective and performed without regard to anything but the actual value of the property, period? Thanks.