Latest Assessment ‘Based On 100-Year Anomaly’
To the Editor:
In 1986, my husband and I purchased a small Newtown antique house purposely well within our financial means. When later encircled by a high-income subdivision, our taxes erroneously soared. Town assessors fair adjustments following home comparisons. Despite illness and variable income, we adeptly raised two sons here. Now 73 and 80, we live on social security except for a pre-established fund for expected larger outlays including property taxes.
Inquisitive, last year we had a realtor appraise our house because of COVID’s “out-of-towner-rush” anomaly. The appraisal, although less than contemporary homes, was absurdly inflated and has already declined.
In December we received our house assessment. Newtown didn’t delay assessment for a year as legislation allowed.
1. For some reason, our assessment was much greater than the cross-the-board 42-45 percent increase — itself, a disturbing number.
2. Our assessment was higher than a similar nearby antique home with more square footage, barn and loft, in-ground pool, and nearly three more acres.
3. Our appraisal was $50,000 beyond the highest price the realtor said was seemingly possible even with the “rush.”
4. Our appeal brought a negligible reduction. The assessment is still way out of line compared to previous years. The appraisal is much higher than what we can possibly receive for our house.
Supposedly, the mill rate will remain down until the next assessment in four years. I won’t hold my breath. And, this increase makes our hopeful senior tax deduction much less supportive.
Yes, increased taxes are inevitable. We knew that four decades ago. That’s why we have lived as economically as possible: living here as long as medically able. But, we planned for regular fair and equitable tax increases, not those wrongly based on a 100-year anomaly.
Sharon L. Cohen