Frequently Asked Questions Assessor's Office
Q.What is the function of the Assessor’s Office?
A . To assign values to real property, personal property and motor vehicles in order to create a Grand List
which is a component in the determination of taxes levied on the taxpayer to fund the Town.
Q.How is the assessed value of real estate determined?
A .Assessments are based on 70% of “Fair Market Value”.
Q.What is the difference between assessed value and market value?
A.The assessed value is 70% of the appraised market value and is used as the basis for determining
the property taxes. Market value is the typical price that a willing buyer would pay a willing seller if the
property were offered on the open market.
Q.What is a mil rate?
A.The mil rate is a thousandth of a dollar. The dollar equivalent of a 25.0 mil rate is $25/$1000,
therefore, a property with an assessment of 100,000 would have a tax liability of $2500.00.
QWho determines the mil rate?
A.The mil rate is set by the Board of Finance, based on budgetary needs,
and presented to the voters for approval at the Annual Budget Hearing in May.
Q.How is my motor vehicle assessed?
A.Motor vehicles registered in the State of Connecticut are assessed at 70% of the average retail
as listed in the NADA books for the current Grand List year. Assessments for the 2007 Grand List would
be taken from the NADA October 1, 2007 volume.
Q.If I sell my vehicle am I taxed for the whole year?
A. No, Taxpayers only have a liability for the months the vehicle is owned. If the vehicle is totaled,
goes out of state, stolen or otherwise disposed of taxes are due from October through the month
vehicle ownership is terminated.*
*Vehicles traded on another Motor Vehicle are pro-rated and the tax credit
applied towards the new vehicle. There is no credit issued in this case.
Q. What determines which Town collects taxes on my vehicle?
A. The Town of residence, as of October 1st any year where the vehicle is garaged
determines where the Taxpayer pays the taxes due.
Q. When does the tax on my property increase?
A. One way property tax can increase is an increase in the mil rate. Also, properties that
have been improved would be inspected and the increase would be added to the original assessment.
Q. Are improvements to the property the only time the assessment increases?
A. No. Property assessments can be increased by revaluation. Which is an updating of all real property values
of October 1st (given year) using recent sales, buildings costs …………State law mandates that every community
in the State of Connecticut must be revalued at lease once every five years. The last reevaluation in Durham was
2005 (statistical). This only requires every property be inspected at least once every 12 years.