Rilling seeks to reassure Norwalkers: Your tax bill won’t go up just because your assessment did

(Tax Illustration by Flickr user Donkey Hotey.)

NORWALK, Conn. – It looks like most Norwalk residential and property values are going up in the revaluation now being finalized, a press release from the City said Friday.

This does not necessarily mean that your tax bill will go up by a corresponding amount, the release stressed.

Connecticut municipalities are mandated by law to revalue their taxpayers’ properties every five years. Tyler Technologies Inc. is assisting the Norwalk tax assessors office in this go round.

Norwalk is in the final phase of the reval, “and while the initial assessment shows the majority of residential and commercial property values going up, it does not mean a similar tax increase is on the horizon,” the release said.

“Whether a property increased or decreased in value is not necessarily indicative of the next tax bill. Property assessments are only one factor in determining taxes, as the main driver is the city’s budget and mill rate, both of which have yet to be approved,” Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling is quoted as saying in the release. “I understand residents and property owners may have concerns, and I encourage them to schedule a hearing if they feel their property assessment is not equitable.”

Tyler representative are holding informal hearings for anyone with questions or concerns about the new assessments, between Dec. 5 and 29 in City Hall, the release said, explaining, “If a property owner believes the assessment on their property is inaccurate, disproportionate or excessive, they are encouraged to schedule an informal hearing by visiting norwalkct.org/hearing.”

More information is available in the document below.

Revaluation FAQ December2018


Sue Haynie December 1, 2018 at 8:03 am

Wall Street is Cranbury and Silvermine’s downtown. Wall Street is where a real estate agent has to point prospective homebuyers if they ask where the Post Office and library are. Other areas of Norwalk have their own downtowns, their own Post Offices and/or their own libraries. Cranbury and Silvermine can’t escape it.

With a property’s valuation in part determined by location, Cranbury and Silvermine neighborhoods valuations should reflect the negative condition of Wall Street and the drain it puts on their property values.

nora k king December 1, 2018 at 9:56 am

You taxes will go up if the assessment figures are not right. So the appraised full market value that is on your tax bill should be accurate. The assessor seems to have not properly appraised many neighborhoods and properties in Norwalk. The value on the bill should reflect what you think the value of your home is right now or as of 10/1/2018 (two months ago.) The assessors job is a critical one to taxpayers. Thier job is to ensure that the value established is correct so that the owner pays no more than their fair share of the property tax.

The assessor needs to understand the market sales in the city and the neighborhoods. They do this by field inspections, structural measurements, calculation, sales analysis, market trends and for commerical properties – income and expense analysis.

Many city assessors hire companies like Tyler to help in the gathering of data, but it is up to the assessor job to ensure the data gathered is correct and then to determine property outliers and ensure the market sales are there to support the values established. It is the assessors job to review the information from these outside companies to ensure its accuracy. If the assessor doesn’t anaylyze trends in sales prices, construction costs, and rents they will not have accurate assessments.

The Norwalk Assessor seems to not have verified for accuracy in these trends and market sales in many area. With many homes being overvalued by 30 to 40% in many cases. Also, once again many of the commerical properties seem to be undervalued. I have seen many commercial buildings that have recently sold in the past year and the values are not reflective of the market sale that took place. Obviously one sale does not determine market value but it is a reflection of the market.

It is the job of the city officials to ensure that the people responsilbe for determine valuations are doing it correctly. It is a tremendous burden on the property owner when this is not done correctly. Elected city officials owe it to their constituents that this process is done by competent people and it is done fairly to all neighborhoods and to both commericial and residential. It is not fair to put it on the property owner to have to fight their taxes because the city assessor did not get it right.

Piberman December 1, 2018 at 10:36 am

How do we know if the assessments were done correctly ? Any spot checking by another source ?

Taxes go up given our stagnant Grand List for nearly a decade in part reflect the lack of professional management at City Hall. Where there’s no incentive or interest in reducing outlays, rewarding Administrators for doing more with fewer resources. Where our Mayor ignores the basic business imperative of using Prof Search to secure Top Talent.

Nothing better illustrates how our former Police Chief runs City Hall than giving his “assistant” a $40k salary boost to $140k merely with a change in job title to “Chief of Staff”. That sends a message throughout Norwalk and surrounding areas that Norwalk really is “the hole in the middle of the donut”.
And that its neither its voters nor its dominant Political Party are concerned with sound City Hall management.

Our long stagant Grand List, Exodus and falling property values reflect how our City is managed. And it won’t change until enough voters demand change.

Rick December 1, 2018 at 11:42 am

Tyler representatives have no idea who Firetree is here in Norwalk and and in Texas at the home office. Both agree the city should of known what the deal was the city made years before this assessment was done.

We video taped took pictures of Tyler reps a year ago now most of them no longer work with Tyler. They were going to look into Firetree next week. Not for nothing Nancy wrote many articles not even the city can hide.

Pointing out new sidewalks and new streets over old Infrastructure even by the boat club Harry adopted showed desperate times to stroke the voters and the taxpayers by shorefront ,Lincoln , end of and the beginning of South main ( where new high rises were announced) amazing what Grasso is doing. Deering even lost out to Middlesex in Liberty square what have they been promised flood relief?

Woodward ave to Village creeks hazardous Manressa and Howes hazardous waste sites was a lame way of disguising existing Brownfeild’s and on going pollution issues.

Yesterday at least had Tyler reading all of NON articles on the federal half way house after city hall pointed out most of the cards and info the city has is incorrect. Tyler now understands the problem and its not going away with a meeting at city hall. Harry where does this court case stand with Firetree? Spell it out let us know the deals that were cut let us know what it cost to fold and cave in on a million dollar lawsuit.Cost to the lawyers wont hurt any case unless the city is paying for their legal bills as pointed out in all the other Firetree cases across the country.

What has it cost so far Harry wont jeopardize a court case by telling taxpayers how much was spent on a non profit so far that wont pay taxes after they win, The city is run a by a belligerent lawyer and is filled with them in city hall.

Give us one good reason we can trust anyone or anything said after what we have seen over the last couple of installments of Rillings capers.

This mall is going to cost money not yet talked about Livingston handles the red herrings and the rest of the department heads have gotten their bobble head degree in rubber stamping all diversionary tactics to the taxpayers until the sky falls.

Those involved in a assisted living or a Cumberland Farms fiasco should check their issues twice. Nothing is a done deal.

but it is up to the assessor job to ensure the data gathered is correct , yes they hang up or send the call to Tyler they are not even listening to any input or even taking questions at this point. Its a typical road block created by Rilling and Mario.

The city’s budget will need millions on the mall, Police Fire Sewage treatment lines and plant, loss of parking revenue will escalate lots will be empty the city will lose most of its vendors to the mall where free parking will be.

New construction has cost all these departments already the CPR call last night shows waiting for an ambulance was not good for at least one resident.

Guess what Harry there is going to be a new high end mall now that rules in Ct has changed since the 95/7 deal.


Last night news showed what they did in New haven with a small track of land, then they bought neighborhoods of residential houses for this mall where tolls to Norwalk wont hurt them.

The mall is going to save Norwalk? What a joke HaRRY who will save Norwalk?


Thank you Nora you didn’t leave out much my last swing is at Duff, its hard to rent in Vermont for a winter season even if your a real estate operative. You may of won another term yet Norwalk lost another term with those they sent to Hartford and DC.

While Murphy and Himes fight Trump they forgot Lockheed is a Ct Parent, so much for any contracts for us.

taxes and politicians are pushing people out renters who could care less are moving in demanding services this assessment will have to pay for. No reason to not give tax incentives out to builder’s homeowners can run a deal with the American red cross on blood.

Thank you harry for letting us know we all have the math wrong. Please first understand how we got here.

Its a mess and you and your team owns it.

Claire Schoen December 1, 2018 at 12:11 pm

On a completely unrelated note, if you’ve read this far, you know how valuable Nancy’s reporting is. Often, you’ll read a story in our *other* local news source* a few days after you’ve read it here.

Imagine if Nancy weren’t around to uncover our local news. Right. Not great for Norwalk.

As you consider your year-end donations (omg, it’s December already?!) please remember NancyOnNorwalk. All donations will be matched by NewsMatch until the end of the year.


You support truly does makes the difference.

Alex December 1, 2018 at 12:14 pm

Rings a bit hollow when the mayor’s own assessment decreased by almost 9%

This is coming from the same people that told us this week that $460,000 was “most of” $894,000.
They can’t possibly be this out of touch with taxpayers??

Debora Goldstein December 1, 2018 at 12:55 pm


Twelve million for Education:

More potential litigation or compliance costs for SPED:

Half a million (give or take) plus litigation costs related to Chinese scammers payment error:

Raises all around for department heads for a “span of control” reorganization:

Ongoing capital investments in long-neglected flood mitigation:

Long deferred compliance costs of MS4 permits:


We can do the math, Mr. Mayor.

Oh, and by the way folks, the POCD is proposing another body similar to the Water Pollution Control Authority to raise money and manage the storm water runoff investments, so those might not actually show up in regular property taxes, blessed by the BET and the council. Instead, there will be another separate tax line, similar to “Sewer Tax”, on your bill, blessed by a handful of Mayoral appointees. So they won’t TECHNICALLY be an increase to your property taxes, however much lighter your bank account will be…

Bryan Meek December 1, 2018 at 3:44 pm

What is grossly missing is the average and median changes in valuation on a percentage basis. Nothing can be inferred without these and clearly there should be some numbers, but for some reason we’ll just have to see how it plays out. Par for the course on many things going on around here lately. Rudderless.

Dave McCarthy December 2, 2018 at 7:29 am

The last reveal was done right by Mayor Moccia. Nine neighborhood meetings. Data about the average change for the city and by neighborhood. If you could compare your results to the city’s average, you’d know whether your taxes would go up, all else being equal.

Last time, my appraisal went down 9% and that was the average…so I had no real change. I had a friend whose house went up 16%, and against the -9% avg…his taxes went up 25% before anything else happened. The house I just sold was appraised at 10% less than the sale price…last time sales data was used as an error check. Maybe someone appreciated the new owner for facilitating my moving on.

Harry Rilling seems to espouse the laziest, most misleading strategy, I guess to keep people in the dark. This time it backfired on him.

Mitch Adis December 2, 2018 at 9:27 am

Don’t be fooled… Taxes are going up and by a lot. How else can the Rilling/Coppola administration pay for – The Mall, POKO, non-stop Apartment Development and Chinese Hacker give aways? Nothing is free, someone always pays.

Piberman December 2, 2018 at 10:38 am

Bryan Meek hit the nail on the head. Namely the Mayor’s withholding of average and median changes in valuation. But its an old story. Overseeing a $400 million budget and nearly 2,000 employees requires much greater management skills possessed by those selected by Norwalk voters as their “Mayor”.

Adolph Neaderland December 2, 2018 at 1:19 pm

Seems to me that “general” discussions about reevals and taxes is not fruitful. what we need is a factual comparison of what actually happened in the past by community.

What has been the relationship of reevals up and down and taxes.

In he interest of openness, the mayor should ask his finance department to provide that information,say for the last 3 evals (15 years) rather than vague, unsupported speculation

Norwalk Lost December 2, 2018 at 9:17 pm

Welcome to the pending election year ruse! The mayor is already spinning this to soften the blow for more overreach and higher taxes to fund even higher school budgets and departments next year. Don’t be fooled, your taxes will be going higher, much higher – Bridgeport style. And it will be business as usual at city hall while the “big lie” is advertised how the grand list has “significantly” grown based on these phony revals. How can one not think malfeasance here? By any stretch of the imagination, property values are nowhere near the average 5 – 10% many homeowners will be hit with. In fact, quite the contrary, a 5 – 10% decrease realistically.

Teacher December 3, 2018 at 11:20 am

The over reach of the BOE is driving the cost of our taxes. City services have been flat or nearly flat for the past several budget cycles. The BOE continues to demand more and more and when its not enough lets just take from the rainy day fund. You can’t spend a dollar twice. A hard look at the budget is required. There needs to be some better controls.

SONO Resident December 3, 2018 at 1:12 pm

If the mill rate is flat or increases and the assessment goes up by 30-40%, how would it even be possible that our taxes do not increase? I have already scheduled a hearing because the assessment conducted by Tyler Technologies is over 30% higher than the Appraisal/Cost Independent Assessment that was done on my house just over a year ago! This is nuts! I shouldn’t have to waste my day with this nonsense!

Andrew December 3, 2018 at 9:16 pm

I’m really going to enjoy more of these press releases.
Similar to the ones run Iin all th local media prior to the last election how republicans were ‘conning’ the electorate about the fiscal state of the state. Then two weeks after the truth starts the leak out slowly how bad things really are for the new governor elect.

Norwalk, you are in for a rough ride.

Scarlet ohara December 4, 2018 at 10:25 pm

hey harry… do you REALLY think that the people of Norwalk actually believe ANYTHING that comes out of your trap?

Now that is comical. Ever think about stand up? >snark<

I just look at you and know you are just outright lying…just being a slimy politician . Ugh.

Scarlet ohara December 4, 2018 at 10:38 pm

Norwalkers, please don’t forget that cc approved, in a heartbeat, a new layer of “management” at the tune of 1 million dollars so rilling has even less to manage (a very loose term in reference to harry’s job functions) while adding to the taxpayers burden.

Let alone ALL of Harry’s stupid, pathetic financial decisions – more like gross negligence.

Then we have Harry’s cost of pride in his vendetta against milligan. {…}

Those are also MAJOR reasons why taxes are going up.

Edited to remove an unsubstantiated claim of illegal acts. https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/comment-guidelines/

Paul December 6, 2018 at 7:02 am

Why did the Mayor ‘s appraisal decrease by 9% while his neighbors in the same condominium complex decreased by 5%? Also the house he owns with his daughter decreased by 1%. Also commercial residential properties increased from 35% to as high as WayPointe that went up 49%! This means rents in Norwalk will increase higher than usual. This is not good for Norwalk. The rents may become higher than Stamford. #rilling

Paul December 6, 2018 at 7:03 am

Also commercial residential properties increased from 35% to as high as WayPointe that went up 49%! This means rents in Norwalk will increase higher than usual. This is not good for Norwalk. The rents may become higher than Stamford. #rilling

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