The main purpose of property revaluation is to correct inequalities in the tax burden that have developed since the last revaluation.
Revaluation is a revenue neutral process. This means that a municipality's tax levy is not changed by the revaluation, thus the total amount of taxes the City will need to collect will be about the same, regardless of whether or not a revaluation takes place. What does change in a revaluation is the amount of taxes individual taxpayers pay. In July, following a revaluation, the first tax payments under the new values will be due.
In accordance with Connecticut General Statutes, the City must conduct a revaluation every five years. Revaluation is a long process, one that takes almost two years to complete between the start of the process and the payment of the first tax bills after the revaluation.
The City of Danbury last completed a revaluation for the Grand List of October 1, 2017, and is currently conducting a real property revaluation for the Grand List of October 1, 2022. This revaluation will correspond to the tax bills that will be due beginning in July 2023. The City of Danbury asks for patience during this process.
The City of Danbury has contracted with Equality Valuation Services, LLC based out of Waterbury, CT. We are currently in the process of converting the City's Assessment Data to a new software system.
There are five major phases to a municipal revaluation: Data Collection, Market Analysis, Valuation, Field Review, and Informal and Formal Appeal Hearings. During these phases many tasks will be implemented in order to successfully complete the revaluation.
Phase 1 - Data Collection
Danbury's 2022 revaluation will be an “update” type revaluation. This means that we will NOT be visiting all properties in town, this is only required once every 10 years and was completed during the 2017 revaluation. Typically during this type of revaluation only properties that were sold would be visited to verify the characteristics of the home. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we will be using alternative methods which may include sales questionnaires and/or review of publicly available data online. If it is necessary for data collectors to exit their vehicle, employees will be wearing masks and practice social distancing.
Phase 2 - Market Analysis
A variety of resources are used to analyze the real estate market. Appraisal Personnel will analyze property sales taking place over a two and a half year period to determine which market factors influence property values. Once all the data is collected and reviewed for accuracy, appraisers will determine land values and set Neighborhoods, which rate the valuation levels of locations throughout the Town as determined by actual market activity.
Phase 3 - Valuation
Valuation is done using three recognized appraisal methods: the Cost Approach, the Income Approach and the Sales Comparison Approach. During this phase, individual characteristics of buildings are analyzed using information gathered in both phases 1 and 2. Each property is compared to other comparable properties with similar characteristics. Then the contributory market value of the improvements is added to the previously determined land values. This value is the final estimate for each parcel of property, building and land.
Phase 4 - Field Review
Field Review is the method of checking and re-checking both the values that have been determined and the data that has been collected. During this review, properties are viewed in the field by experienced appraisers who double-check uniformity and accuracy of information.
Phase 5- Informal and Formal Appeal Hearings
Once the data collection, market analysis, valuation, and field review phases of this revaluation are completed, notices of your new assessment and prior assessed value will be mailed. At this time, anyone with questions concerning the revaluation process, the data collected on their property or their valuation will have an opportunity to meet with a member of Equality's staff to discuss their property valuation.
Any property that has an informal hearing or any property where the value has been changed since the first notice will receive another assessment notice in early February 2023. This notice will provide the details on how to appeal your assessment with the Board of Assessment Appeals, which is a formal appeals process undertaken annually by state statute. As with the informal hearings, owners who wish to formally appeal their assessment will have the opportunity to do so at Board of Assessment Appeals hearings in March.
After all five phases are completed, all data, files, records, etc. used in the revaluation are then turned over to the Assessor's Office. This will allow the City to maintain the data collected and values determined during the revaluation on a continual basis.