Connecticut Seal

Substitute Senate Bill No. 74

Public Act No. 02-49

AN ACT CONCERNING PERIODIC REVALUATION OF REAL PROPERTY BY TOWNS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (h) of section 12-62 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(h) (1) Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting a town from electing to effect a revaluation of real estate earlier than the year of next revaluation, as designated in subsection (b) of this section.

(2) [A] On and after October 1, 2002, a town electing to effect its next revaluation earlier than required pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall effect its next subsequent revaluation [for the assessment date commencing four years following the effective date of the revaluation so implemented] on the assessment date that is four years after the date provided in said subsection (b) which date is applicable to the revaluation which is being effected earlier.

Sec. 2. Section 12-62 of the general statutes is amended by adding subsection (k) as follows (Effective from passage):

(NEW) (k) (1) As used in this subsection: "Coefficient of dispersion", "commercial property", "market sale", "median ratio", "price related differential", "property class", "ratio", "residential property" and "vacant land" have the same meanings as the definitions of those terms in the regulations adopted under section 12-62i.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, a town shall be exempt from performing its next scheduled revaluation if, as of the date that calculations pursuant to this subsection are performed: (A) The overall level of assessment for all property classes is within plus or minus ten per cent of the seventy per cent assessment ratio required under subsection (b) of section 12-62a, as measured by the overall median ratio; (B) the level of assessment for each property class for which there are fifteen or more market sales is within plus or minus five per cent of the median overall level of assessment for each such property class; (C) the coefficient of dispersion for each property class for which there are fifteen or more market sales is equal to or less than (i) fifteen per cent for all property; (ii) fifteen per cent for residential property; (iii) twenty per cent for commercial property; and (iv) twenty per cent for vacant land; and (D) the price related differential for each property class for which there are fifteen or more market sales is within 0. 98 and 1. 03. The provisions of this subsection shall terminate on October 1, 2007, and shall not apply to any revaluation scheduled to be implemented on or after said date.

(3) In order to claim exemption under this subsection from the requirement to implement a revaluation pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, a town shall perform the calculations required by this subsection not earlier than April second and not later than April tenth of the calendar year preceding the October first assessment date on which such revaluation pursuant to subsection (b) of this section is required to be effective, except that a town scheduled to implement a revaluation on October 1, 2003, may perform such calculations not later than thirty days after the effective date of this section. Such calculations shall be based on market sales that occurred between October first of the previous calendar year and April first of the calendar year in which such calculations are performed, provided if the total number of market sales occurring in said period is less than thirty, the time period prior to said October first shall be extended in monthly increments until the number of market sales is equal to or greater than thirty, but in no event shall such time period be extended for more than twelve months prior to said October first. The assessor may adjust the sales price of any property to take into account: (A) The fact that the property sold is subject to a lease that does not represent market rent, as defined in section 12-63b; (B) the inclusion of personal property in the price paid for real property that was sold; or (C) any other factor the assessor deems appropriate provided there is objective criteria substantiating any such adjustment and the reason for such adjustment is documented by the assessor. In the event the time period is extended under the provisions of this subsection, the assessor may also adjust the sales price of any property sale occurring in said extended time period to take into account the effect of a price change in the real estate market between the date of sale and the date such calculations are performed. Information concerning such market sales and the statistical analyses of such sales shall be available for public inspection for not less than one year from the date a town certifies its exemption from the requirement to implement its next scheduled revaluation, provided the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management does not rescind such exemption, pursuant to section 3 of this act.

(4) Any town that meets the criteria set forth in this subsection shall, not later than five days after the calculations required by this subsection are performed, certify its exemption from the requirement to implement its next scheduled revaluation pursuant to subsection (b) of this section to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management. Such certification shall be signed by the chief executive officer and the assessor and filed in their respective offices and shall specify the assessment date to which such exemption applies. The certification submitted to the secretary shall be accompanied by documentation of the town's compliance with the criteria delineated in this subsection, in such form and manner as the secretary may require. Such documentation shall include, but not be limited to: (A) Information concerning all sales of real property for each property class that occurred during the time period encompassed by the town's analyses; (B) information concerning the market sales used in the analysis for each property class during such time period; (C) documentation concerning the reason used by the assessor to adjust the sales price of each property and the dollar amount of the adjustment; (D) documentation of the reason for not including a real property sale in the analysis of any property class; and (E) the results of each of the applicable calculations described in subdivision (2) of this subsection. Each town that certifies an exemption from the requirement to implement a revaluation pursuant to this subsection shall cooperate with the secretary or the committee established pursuant to section 3 of this act in promptly providing any information the secretary or the committee may require. A copy of the certification of a town's exemption from the requirement to implement its next scheduled revaluation, as submitted to the secretary, shall be provided to the town clerk of the town, who shall record such certification on the land records. In the event the secretary rescinds such exemption, the secretary's notice rescinding the town's revaluation exemption certification shall be recorded on the land records.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) There shall be a committee for the purpose of analyzing the data upon which a town bases its certification of exemption from the requirement to implement a scheduled revaluation on and after October 1, 2003, pursuant to section 12-62 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, together with all data that was or should have been considered in completing the calculations on which such exemption certification is based. Not later than three months after the date on which the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management receives a town's certification of exemption from such requirement, the committee shall complete its analysis and shall submit a written report of its findings to the secretary. Such report shall include the committee's opinion of the validity of the exemption certification made by the town and a recommendation regarding the secretary's action concerning such certification. Not later than five days after receiving a report of the committee's findings, the secretary shall send a written notice to the town, by certified or registered mail, validating or rescinding the town's revaluation exemption certification. The secretary shall validate the town's exemption from the requirement to implement a revaluation as of the October first of the calendar year next following, unless the committee recommends that the secretary rescind such exemption.

(b) The committee shall consist of the following members appointed by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management: (1) Five persons appointed for two-year terms, at least one of whom shall represent a municipality with a population of ten thousand or less, one of whom shall represent a municipality with a population greater than ten thousand but less than forty thousand, one of whom shall represent a municipality with a population greater than forty thousand, one of whom shall be a person who has demonstrated competence in statistical analyses and one of whom shall be an employee of the Office of Policy and Management; and (2) six persons appointed for four-year terms, each of whom shall be certified pursuant to section 12-40a of the general statutes, and shall be employed by a municipality in the state in a position relating to the assessment of property for purposes of the property tax, or shall have been employed in such a position within five years preceding the date on which such person is appointed. All committee members shall be appointed not later than July 1, 2002. The secretary shall fill each vacancy at the conclusion of a term. Each member of the committee other than the representative from the Office of Policy and Management shall serve without pay, provided a town shall reimburse committee members for reasonable expenses they incur in analyzing the data upon which the town based its certification of exemption. Any person who ceases to be an employee of the Office of Policy and Management or to be certified pursuant to said section 12-40a, shall cease to be a member of the committee and the secretary shall appoint a replacement to fill the remainder of such person's term. The committee shall elect a chairperson and adopt rules and procedures for complying with the requirements of this section, provided a member of the committee shall not vote on the validity of a certification made by the town in which such member (A) resides, (B) owns or has a substantial interest in property subject to taxation, or (C) is a municipal employee.

(c) The committee shall establish whether or not a town complied with the requirements of section 12-62 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, in effecting the required calculations, and whether or not the assessor in performing the analyses for each property class and for all real property: (1) Excluded market sales that should have been included, (2) made adjustments to the sales prices of property that were not based on objective criteria, not documented, or not substantiated in terms of the reasons therefor, (3) included sales that were not market sales, or (4) did not make necessary and appropriate adjustments to the sales prices of real property. If the committee finds that the town or the assessor did not conform to the requirements of subsection (k) of section 12-62, as amended by this act, and that such nonconformance materially affected the calculations on which the town based its certification of exemption from the requirement to implement a scheduled revaluation, the committee shall recommend that the secretary rescind such exemption. If the committee finds that the town or the assessor conformed to such requirements, or did not conform to such requirements but that such nonconformance did not materially affect the calculations on which such certification was based, the committee shall recommend that the secretary validate such exemption.

(d) In the event the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management rescinds a town's revaluation exemption certification, the town shall implement a revaluation of all real property as soon as is practicable, but in no event later than the October first next following the date on which it was scheduled to implement the revaluation for which the secretary rescinded the exemption certification. Any such town shall be required to implement its next subsequent revaluation for the assessment date that is four years after the assessment date for which such exemption certification is rescinded and thereafter such town shall implement a revaluation in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of section 12-62 of the general statutes. Any such town shall not be eligible to certify an exemption from the requirement to implement a revaluation, pursuant to section 12-62 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, any earlier than the date that is five years after the date on which the town certified the exemption from the requirement to implement a revaluation that the secretary rescinded. If the secretary determines that such town's revaluation exemption certification could not have been made unless the town intentionally disregarded the provisions of section 12-62 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, in order to subvert the requirement to implement a scheduled revaluation, the secretary may impose a penalty against such town. The secretary shall determine the amount of such penalty and the method by which it shall be paid, which may include subtracting such amount from any grant the payment of which the secretary certifies to the Comptroller in the fiscal year in which the penalty is imposed, or in the fiscal year next following. Prior to imposing any such penalty, the secretary, or the secretary's designee, shall hold a hearing and shall send a written notice to the town of the date, time and place thereof not later than ten business days before such hearing is scheduled. Not later than thirty days following the conclusion of such hearing, the secretary shall determine if imposition of a penalty is warranted and shall send a written notice of such determination to the town. In the event the secretary imposes a penalty, such notice shall state the amount of such penalty and the method by which it shall be paid. The secretary shall send any notice required by this section by certified or registered mail. Any town aggrieved by the action of the secretary following such hearing or by the amount of the penalty imposed may appeal to the superior court for the judicial district wherein such town is located. Such appeal shall be taken not later than ten business days after the date on which the town receives the secretary's notice concerning such penalty. Any such appeal shall be privileged.

(e) On and after July 1, 2002, the provisions of this section and section 12-62 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, shall supercede the provisions of any special act, charter or home rule ordinance to the contrary concerning the year a revaluation is required to be implemented.

Sec. 4. Subsection (c) of section 9-199 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section or of any special act, municipal charter or home rule ordinance, a municipality may, by ordinance, authorize its legislative body to appoint additional members to the board of assessment appeals for any assessment year. [in which a revaluation becomes effective, for the assessment year prior to such year of revaluation and for the assessment year following such year of revaluation. ]

Sec. 5. Subdivision (11) of section 12-81 is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(11) Subject to the provisions of section 12-88, tangible property owned by, or held in trust for, a religious organization, provided such tangible property is used exclusively for cemetery purposes; donations held in trust by a municipality, an ecclesiastical society or a cemetery association, the income of which is to be used for the care or improvement of its cemetery, or of one or more private burial lots within such cemetery. Subject to the provisions of sections 12-87 and 12-88, any other tangible property used for cemetery purposes shall not be exempt, unless (a) such tangible property is exclusively so used, and (b) no officer, member or employee of the organization owning such property receives or, at any future time, shall receive any pecuniary profit from the cemetery operations thereof except reasonable compensation for services in the conduct of its cemetery affairs, and (c) in 1965, and quadrennially thereafter, a statement on forms prepared by the [Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management] assessor shall be filed on or before the last day required by law for the filing of assessment returns with the local board of assessors of any town, consolidated town and city or consolidated town and borough, in which any of its property claimed to be exempt is situated.

Approved May 9, 2002