February 8, 2006 
2006R0059  
ASSESSING THE VALUE OF 490 LAND  
 
By: John Rappa, Principal Analyst 
You asked how many towns do not use the values the state recommends for assessing farms, forests, and open spaces under the Public Act 490 Program.
At least 18 towns do not use the recommended values for assessing “490 land” (i.e., farms, forests, and open spaces). These towns represent 22% of the 83 towns that responded to an online survey the Connecticut Association of Assessing Officers (CAAO) conducted on our behalf between January 10^{th} and 27th. The respondents represent 49% of the state's towns and 47.9 of its land area. Table 1 lists the towns and their responses.
CAAO conducted the survey over its list server, which is connected to assessors in at least 138 towns. The survey question asked assessors to indicate if they used the recommended values and, if they did not, list the ones they used.
The law requires assessors to determine the value of 490 land based solely on how it is being used (i.e., current use value) without regard to its potential resale or fair market value (i.e., the highest and best use one can make of undeveloped land). The law does not specify how assessors must determine current use values or prescribe them, but the Department of Agriculture issues recommended values every five years. Attachment 1 lists the values for 2005, but, as Table 1 shows, almost half the respondent towns still use the 2000 values.
Table 1: Values Used by Selected Towns for Assessing 490 Land
Town 
Area (Square Miles) 
Uses Recommended Values 
Uses other Values  
2000 Values 
2005 Values  
Avon 
23.5 
X  
Berlin 
27.0 
X  
Bethlehem 
19.4 
X 

Bloomfield 
26.2 
X 
Will use 2005 values for 2009 reval. 

Bolton 
14.7 
X 

Bristol 
26.8 
X 
Will use 2005 values for 2007 reval. 

Brooklyn 
29.0 
X 

Burlington 
30.4 
X 

Canterbury 
40.2 
X 

Canton 
25.0 
X  
Cheshire 
33.4 
X  
Chester 
16.8 
X  
Clinton 
19.0 
X  
Coventry 
38.4 
Used these values for the 2004 reval. 

Cromwell 
12.9 
X 
Will use 2005 values for 2007 reval. 

Deep River 
14.2 
X 

Durham 
23.8 
X 

East Granby 
17.6 
X 

East Hartford 
18.8 
X 
Will use 2005 values for 2006 reval. 

East Lyme* 
42.0 
X 

East Windsor 
26.8 
X 
Will use 2005 values for 2007 reval. 

Easton 
28.6 
X 

Enfield 
34.2 
X 

Essex 
11.8 
X 

Fairfield 
31.1 
X 

Farmington 
28.8 
X  
Glastonbury 
52.3 
X 
X  
Goshen 
45.2 
X 

Granby 
40.8 
X 

Greenwich 
47.8 
X  
Griswold 
37.1 
X 

Groton 
45.2 
X 

Guilford 
49.7 
X 

Haddam 
46.4 
X  
Hamden 
33.3 
X 

Hebron 
37.3 
X 
Will use 2005 values for 2006 reval. 

Killingly 
50.0 
X 

Lebanon 
55.2 
X 

Litchfield 
56.8 
X 

Manchester 
27.7 
X 

Middlebury 
17.8 
X 
Will use 2005 values for 2006 reval. 
Table 1: Continued
Town 
Area (Square Miles) 
Uses Recommended Values 
Uses other Values  
2000 Values 
2005 Values  
Middlebury 
17.8 
X 
Will use 2005 values for 2006 reval. 

Middlefield 
12.7 
X 
Will use 2005 values for 2006 reval. 

Middletown 
40.9 
X 

Milford 
26.2 
X  
Monroe 
26.3 
X 

New Britain * 
13.4 
X 
X  
New Hartford 
38.1 
X 

New Milford 
63.7 
X 

Newington 
13.2 
X 

Newtown 
59.1 
X 
Will use 2005 values for 2006 reval. 

Norfolk 
46.4 
X 

North Branford 
26.7 
X 

North Stonington 
54.3 
X 

Norwich 
29.5 
X  
Preston 
31.8 
X 

Putnam 
20.4 
X 

Ridgefield 
34.4 
X  
Salem 
29.8 
X 

Salisbury 
57.3 
X  
Shelton 
31.9 
X 

Simsbury 
34.3 
X 
X  
Somers 
28.3 
X 

South Windsor 
28.7 
X 

Southbury 
40.0 
X 

Southington 
36.6 
X  
Sprague 
13.8 
X 

Stafford 
58.8 
X 

Torrington 
39.8 
X 

Union 
29.8 
X 

Vernon 
17.7 
X  
Voluntown 
38.9 
X 

Washington 
38.2 
X 

Watertown 
29.6 
X 

West Hartford 
22.4 
X 

West Haven 
11.0 
X 

Wethersfield 
13.1 
X 

Willington 
33.5 
X 

Windham 
27.9 
X 

Windsor 
31.1 
X 
Will use 2005 values for next reval. 

Woodbridge 
19.2 
X 

Woodbury 
36.7 
X 

Woodstock 
61.8 
X 
*New Britain uses the recommended values for farmland and other values for orchards
JR:dw