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Sunday, January 18, 2004

Westport Property Assessment Notices Hit Mailboxes

This is a sober weekend for many Westport taxpayers. Notices of updated real estate assessments and taxes for the next year based on the projected grand list and mill rate have hit Westport mailboxes and the news for some is jolting, for others, relief. taxnotice2.jpg Tax notices hit mailboxes Saturday. photo

The notices listed 2003-04 taxes that would have been paid on the projected rates, in effect giving the town’s best guess at what taxpayers might approximately pay in the next tax year,

“My taxes went down $300,” said one resident, who, like other Westporters agreeing to comment for this story, asked for anonymity.

“It was quite a relief since they already went up 50 percent since I bought my house five years ago.”

Another resident said he, too, was relieved, when he opened the tax assessor’s “2003 Property Assessment Notice” Saturday.

“My projected taxes are up 5 percent,” he said. “I think, all in all, that’s reasonable.”

A number of Westporters attending Saturday’s community meeting at the Westport Public Library held by Rep. Christopher Shays chatted about the notices in the hallways.

A commercial property owner noted that his taxes were projected to rise 33 percent over the current year.

“My tenants won’t like it, but, that’s the cost of doing business in this town,” he said.

A residential property owner, who thought he got off fairly lightly in the last revaluation four years ago, saw an almost 19 percent increase in his projected taxes.

“I don’t like it, but it’s about in line what I expected,” he said.

John Ryan of J. F. Ryan Associates, Inc., the firm the town hired for its property appraisal and consulting services, told a news conference last week that the value of residential properties increased about 50 percent since the last revaluation.

He said commercial property values were up between 43 and 44 percent.

Ryan said about one-third of Westport residents will pay more in taxes, one third roughly the same, and one third a decrease.

He said taxes overall will remain relatively constant because the mill rate declines with the increased value of property in town.

“The good news in Westport is the real estate market remains very strong,” Ryan said.

Beginning Tuesday, residents may ask for appointments with Ryan and his firm to question the reappraisal with complaints later to be made to the Board of Assessment Appeals.


Posted 01/18/04 at 06:23 PM  Permalink


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So, 1/3 of us will be happy, 1/3 neutral, and up to 1/3 unhappy!

Posted by Street Watcher on January 19, 2004 at 02:29 AM | #

The second column is not projected taxes for next year; it is what our taxes would have been this fiscal year if we were under the new assessment.

Posted by Ted Hampe on January 19, 2004 at 01:36 PM | #

This is an assessment - ignore the supposed taxes and look at the equity of the value placed on your property - ours was the same as the asking price for a neighbors house - which is 1000 sq ft larger, has a brand new pool, and is 50 years newer, with central air, whirlpool, walk in closets etc (none of which we have).  Needless to say, we will have to spend time and money on an appeal.

Posted by skeptic on January 19, 2004 at 06:14 PM | #

Why did the Town pay 300 thousand dollars when these guys ignored reality and simply applied a formula that punished people who didn’t knock down their normal size homes and put up a McMansion

Posted by angry on January 19, 2004 at 07:59 PM | #

something’s outta control…
just refinanced in July…appraiser said my home had market value of $700K…We thought it was a liitle low…TOWN OF WESTPORT says $1,250,000. Either Town is crazy or they can buy it tomorrow. That’s fair…don’t you think?

Posted by tom feeley on January 19, 2004 at 11:50 PM | #

I agree.
The assessment favored the new and expensive houses at the cost of the older and more moderate ones. It is in fact shifting the tax burden in an unfair way.

Posted by Mike Laux on January 22, 2004 at 09:10 PM | #