March 4, 2008
PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT APPEALS
By: Kevin E. McCarthy, Principal Analyst
You asked for a summary of the law on appeals of real property tax assessments. You were particularly interested in the information that the board of assessment appeals must provide to taxpayers upon request.
Under CGS § 12-111, anyone aggrieved by the actions of a municipality's assessors can appeal to the board of assessment appeals. The appeal must be in writing and filed before February 20th. The appeal must include, among other things, the owner's name, a description of the property, the reason for the appeal, and the appellant's estimate of the property's value.
The board must hold a hearing on any assessment except those over $500,000 for commercial, industrial, utility, or apartment property. If, in these cases, the board chooses not to hold a hearing, it must notify the appellant about its decision by March 1st. In other cases, the board must notify the appellant of the date, time, and place of the hearing by March 1st. It must hold its hearings in March and decide the appeals by the last business day of that month.
CGS § 12-117 allows a municipality's chief elected officer to extend, by one month, the statutory deadlines for the assessors or board of assessment appeals to take various actions. If the assessment year is one in which revaluation is required, the chief elected officer must extend the deadlines by up to two months. In either case, the deadline for the appellant to request a hearing is March 20th.
Under CGS § 12-112, the board can may increase or decrease the assessment of any taxable property or any interest in it. Under CGS Sec. 12-113 it can only reduce the assessment if (1) the property owner or his or her attorney or agent appears at the hearing and agrees to be sworn before the board and answer all questions regarding his or her taxable property located in the municipality and (2) any reduction is recorded in the board's minutes.
The law does not require the board to provide any specific information to the appellant as to why it rejected an appeal.
Anyone aggrieved by the board's action can appeal to the Superior Court for the judicial district where the property is located. The court appeal does not suspend an action by the municipality to collect up to 75% of the tax imposed on the property (90% for property assessed at $500,000 or more).
In addition to this formal process, assessors often hold informal sessions where taxpayers can question their assessments and the methods used to arrive at them.