Around this time of year, the energy level in the town assessor’s and tax collector’s offices begins to peak. That is because in the next couple of weeks local auto and residential tax bills will start going out, with the anticipated flood of tax reimbursements beginning to flow back in a few weeks later.
Tax Collector Carol Mahoney told The Newtown Bee this week that residents should anticipate receiving their annual tax bills by early July, and that payments are due by August 1 on the first round of residential and all auto taxes.
Ms Mahoney also reminds residents that if they pay their own residential tax bills, versus having them paid through an escrow account maintained by their mortgage holder, they should contact her office by July 5 if those bills have not arrived in the mailbox. The same holds true for motor vehicle statements.
“We basically need to hear from anyone expecting a residential or auto tax bill, who hasn’t received it by July 1,” Ms Mahoney said.
At the same time, Interim Assessor Penny Mudgett reminds auto owners that there may be some measure of relief available to them if they own high mileage, handicapped equipped, antique, or collectible vehicles.
Ms Mudgett said that owners of antique or collectible vehicles 20 years old or older, whose vehicles are in stock or unmodified condition, can qualify for a fixed $500 assessment for taxation purposes if they file an Antique Affidavit available through her office or downloaded off the town website and submitted between July 1 and September 30.
Those who own a vehicle 20 years old or older who do not file the local affidavit will have their vehicles assessed at the National Automobile Dealers Association or NADA Antique and Collectible book value , the assessor said.
Residents who file the Antique Affidavit must also supply a current photo of the vehicle to prove it is in unmodified condition.
“Qualifying vehicles must be in original manufacturer’s condition, and must have all their original specifications,” Ms Mudgett said. “They can’t be significantly altered or customized.”
Those seeking an assessment reduction on vehicles that may have unusually high mileage must come to the tax office between July 1 and August 30 with official documentation like an emissions certificate or auto repair documentation that displays the verified vehicle mileage as close to October 1, 2013, as possible.
The reduction is based on an NADA formula depending on the extended mileage.
Those residents who own vehicles modified with equipment for transporting or accommodating handicapped individuals or family members may also qualify for an exemption from motor vehicle taxation. Ms Mudgett said there is no set time frame in which those owners must apply.
Also, the vehicle does not necessarily have to be owned by the handicapped person themselves — it may be owned by a qualified family member, spouse or caregiver.
Owners of such vehicles that have received assessment exemptions in the past are also required to notify the assessor’s office if they have recently replaced those vehicles with newer models, even if they have the same or similar equipment.