New London property values rise in latest revaluation
New London — City property values, both commercial and residential, are on the rise.
Preliminary results of the revaluations performed by Vision Government Solutions Inc. this year show an overall median increase of 10 percent, with multifamily dwellings experiencing the sharpest increase at 21 percent.
The median is the middle point of the values, with half of the values above and half below.
Residential property values have increased by 7 percent since the last revaluation was completed in 2013. Commercial properties rose by 18 percent, industrial properties by 14.5 percent and tax-exempt properties by 8 percent over the same time frame.
This year’s revaluation is considered a statistical update compared to the full revaluation completed in 2013, which included physical inspections of properties. There was a 23 percent overall drop in property values in 2013, city records show. The state requires revaluations every five years and full revaluations every 10 years.
Notices of the new property assessments were mailed out to property owners in mid-November and representatives from Vision have been conducting a series of informal hearings at City Hall for anyone with questions or concerns about the new assessments. Those meetings are expected to continue through the week of Dec. 10.
Any value changes that come out of these meetings will result in new notices sent out in January.
Addressing concerns or perhaps misconceptions by some about what an increased assessment means, New London Tax Assessor Paige Walton said the purpose of the revaluation is not to raise taxes but to equalize property values citywide, “creating a fair and equitable distribution of the tax burden.”
An increase in value does not necessarily translate into a tax increase, she said.
“A revaluation may result in either an increase or decrease in individual taxes depending on how a particular property’s value changed relative to the average change in the city,” she said.
Assessments are only one part of the equation used to determine the tax burden during the budget process. The budget is the main driver.
“If the city’s revenue and spending remains relatively neutral, and assessments have increased citywide, the mill rate would drop accordingly,” Walton said.
Finance Director Donald Gray said adjustments to the city’s mill rate will not be made until the passage of a new budget next year.
Both Gray and Mayor Michael Passero said they view the increases as a good sign for the city.
“The fact that values are going up does show the economy is getting better,” Gray said. “People are paying more for properties. That is a positive.”
This year’s revaluation was updated by collecting, verifying and analyzing recent sales data, along with cost and income data, Walton said. For commercial properties, the income approach to value also was considered using data from income-producing properties to establish typical economic or market rents, expenses, vacancy and capitalization rates.