NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk’s residential real estate is worth less than it was five years ago, but the value of commercial property is up ever so slightly, Norwalk Finance Director Thomas Hamilton said Monday.
The preliminary results of the revaluation done by Vision Government Solutions Inc. were unveiled by Hamilton at Monday’s meeting held in the Center for Global Studies at Brien McMahon High School, which also featured Tax Assessor Michael Stewart explaining that Vision is using a different approach than has been done here before.
Preliminary results of Revaluation
• 81 percent of all residential properties have a reduction in value compared to 2008
• 18 percent of all residential properties have a increase in value compared to 2008; 1 percent stayed the same
• Condominiums and 2 to 4-family residential properties have declined in value substantially more than single-family homes
• 63 percent of residential properties are decreasing by 9 percent or more
• 53 percent of single-family residential properties are decreasing by 9 percent or more
• Real property reflects a $1.5 billion decline in total appraised (market) value, or -9.05 percent, as a result of the 2013 revaluation.
• Total residential values are declining by 12.3 percent.
• Single-family values are declining overall by 9.5 percent.
• Commercial property values are increasing by 1 percent.
• Assuming no change in motor vehicle or personal property assessments, overall grand list would decline by 8.1 percent.
• Overall impact: Modest shift of tax burden away from residential properties.
Results by district and neighborhood vary considerably:
• Second District (South Norwalk) had the largest drop in taxable value at -16 percent
• Sixth District (Rowayton) had the smallest drop in value at -4.9 percent
Impact on median single-family taxes by district
(District: median taxes 2013-14, 2014-15, dollar change, percent change):
• 1st District: $5,774.33…$5.341.90…($432.43)…- 7.5 percent
• 2nd District: $5,826.26…$4,867.53…($958.83)…-16.5 percent
• 3rd District: $7,156.11…$6,309.29…($846.82)…-11.8 percent
• 4th District: $6,409.73…$6,248.42…($161.31)…-2.5 percent
• 5th District: $8,162.25…$8374.69…..$212.44……2.6 percent
• 6th District: $14,053.83…$14,875.66…$821.83…5.9 percent
• Citywide: $6,904.59…$6,873.33…($31.26)…-.5 percent
The information will be posted on Visions’ website, officials said.
Hamilton referred to a 9 percent change as the “break even point.”
His department has taken the new valuations and applied them to this year’s tax bills to make a hypothetical comparison and see how people are affected, he said. Taxpayers with a 9 percent or more decrease in their valuations would be paying less this year, he said. Those with less than a 9 percent decrease would be paying more, he said.
“A revaluation doesn’t increase the city’s revenue, but what it does do is redistribute the burden of taxes,” Hamilton said. “It redistributes the burden of taxes with the objective of making the values equitable so that everyone is paying the same percentage in taxes as a percentage of the market value of their property.”
That Norwalk’s property values have dropped is no surprise, he said. Stamford did a revaluation last year and found that property values are down 25 percent, he said. Westport did one two years ago, with a 13 percent drop, he said. Fairfield did a revaluation three years ago with the result that values were down 11 percent, he said.
Field cards, which carry a detailed list of factors that affect a property’s value — such as location, size, quality of construction, age of improvements — are not ready for residents to inspect, Stewart said. That’s a change from prior revaluations.
That’s because the cards have not yet been finalized, he said.
“This is a whole new process that we are doing and the software is new even to Vision,” he said. “So we are still trying to get the best product that we can out to you before we release it. But we are giving you the things that you need to decide whether you need to take a closer look at your value.”
Hearings are underway. The city had not been planning to hold any during the week between the upcoming holidays, but is now offering appointments on Dec. 30. There will be hearings Jan. 8, 9 and 10, if needed, Stewart said.
The city has increased its time slots for this week’s hearings as well, he said.
• December: Preliminary notices of new values
• December-January: Informal value review hearings
• January: Signing of grand list (may extend to February)
• March: Board of Assessment appeals (April is grand list extended)
• April/May: Mill rate calculated (grand levy/grand list)
• July: Tax bills
A meeting is being held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Norwalk Police headquarters community room for people who own property in Brookside, Golden Hill, Springwood, South Norwalk, Shorefront Park, Harborview and Village Creek.
There is a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the City Hall community room for people who own property in Cranbury, West Rocks, Wolfpit, East Norwalk, Dry Hill, Central Norwalk East. It’s also for people who own commercial property anywhere in the city.
There is a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Concert Hall for people who own property in Silvermine, central Norwalk West, West Route 1, West Norwalk, Springhill and Ponus/Broad River.
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