Some winners, some losers expected in city-wide reassessment

NORWICH – Some winners and some losers are expected as the result of a city-wide re-evaluation of property assessments that city officials hope to have completed for the 2017 assessment role.

According to City Assessor Brian Fitts, a reassessment of property values throughout the city is needed to give property owners fair balance when it comes time to pay their taxes. The city hasn’t conducted a city-wide reassessment in 26 year, he noted. Since homeowners are taxed on the value of their property, inequity in the city’s assessment role means property owners who are over assessed are shouldering the tax burden for property owners who are under assessed.

In 2014, the city’s equalization rate measured 66 percent. The goal, said Fitts, is to get that figure closer to 100 percent by reassessing every property in the city, be it residential, business or nonprofit. The process from start to finish is expected to take three years.

“The most important thing to consider in a reassessment is equity for property owners,” said Fitts. “The final assessment may never be perfect; but a rule of thumb is that 33 percent of the population will see an increase in their taxes, 33 percent will see no significant change at all, and 33 percent will see a reduction in their taxes.”

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