Everyone should have received their updated assessment this week. I received several calls and messages from people asking questions about their assessments, what this means for their taxes, and whether or not they should appeal. Many people think that if your assessment goes up that your taxes will automatically go up as well. This is not necessarily the case. The tax assessor’s office does a great job explaining this, here is a brief summary.
The assessments are based on recent sales of similar homes in your neighborhood. They use the stats from your tax card, square footage, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, age of the house, amount of land, etc., and estimate what your total appraised value is. Your taxes are based on 70% of the total appraised value which is called your assessment. Once they calculate all of the personal property values in town, they then have what is called the grand list which is the total amount that will be taxed. For reference, in 2020 the grand list was $33,696,865,712. This includes all real estate, motor vehicles, and business personal property. Interesting fact, this also includes horses! If you own a horse that’s worth more than $2000 and keep it in Greenwich, you are taxed on its value. Using that grand list, the town determines what the mill rate will be according to how much money they need to fulfill the budget. The mill rate fluctuates and it very well may go down this year in order to keep our taxes low.
What is a mill rate? A mill is equal to $1.00 of tax for each $1,000 of assessment. To calculate the property tax, multiply the assessment of the property by the mill rate and divide by 1,000. Property tax rates are expressed in Mills, or thousandths of a dollar. A property tax rate of 7.500 mills, .0075 expressed in decimal form, or .75% expressed as a percent of assessed value, results in the payment of $7.50 for each $1,000 of the properties assessed value. The Board of Estimate and Taxation sets the mill rate in May of every year in time for the July tax billing. For additional info: click here to check out the FAQ section of the Greenwich town web page on assessments.
Should I appeal my assessment? There are different opinions on this, but I personally would not appeal unless you feel that your house would sell for less than the total appraised amount determined by the town.
How do I know what my house is worth? You can compare your house to similar homes in your neighborhood that have sold recently, this is called looking at comps or doing a comparative market analysis, but if you’re unsure as to how to determine the true value of your home, you can contact a professional to help you. You can call an experienced agent or an appraiser. Feel free to reach out to me if you’d like my help or a referral to a licensed appraiser. Both can help you determine the value of your home as well as help you with the appeal process.
If you feel an appeal is warranted, you need to contact Tyler technologies at 1- 877-895-9675 before Jan. 5, 2022.