City ponders city-wide reassessment

NORWICH Ė Norwich officials have revived discussions of a possible city-wide re-evaluation of property assessments that would change the tax bill for most homeowners.

Members of the Norwich Joint Committees addressed the issue at their monthly meeting Tuesday. The prospect of a city-wide re-evaluation was first bought up in the fall of 2014, but was pigeonholed by the Common Council last year.

According to City Assessor Brian Fitts, a re-assessment is overdue; and while thereís no law stipulating when a municipality should conduct a re-evaluation, he said assessments only become more lopsided with time.

The city hasnít conducted a city-wide reassessment in 28 years. And since homeowners are taxed according the value of their property, inequity in the cityís assessment role means property owners who are over-assessed are shouldering the tax burden for those who are under-assessed.

Fitts explained the issue to the Joint Committees on Tuesday.

ďA majority of the assessments were set 28 years ago. Over the course of time, the market has changed. Different pockets of the city have changed in value, so the assessments have changed,Ē he said. ďA [re-assessment] is about equity ... In my daily work in the assessorís office, I see massive inequities in the roll, and thatís no oneís fault. Thatís just a result of time.Ē

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