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Posted on: January 9, 2023

The City’s 2023 Revaluation Project to Determine Fair Market Value of Properties in Norwalk to Begin

(Norwalk, Conn.) Today, January 9, 2023, the City’s Tax Assessor’s Department announced that Norwalk’s 2023 Revaluation Project will begin this week. A revaluation will determine the fair market value of every property in the City to equalize the values of all properties for the purpose of a distribution of the tax burden in an equitable way.

Every five years, State law requires all Connecticut municipalities to reevaluate properties, with inspections required every ten years. The last full measure and list revaluation in the City of Norwalk was completed in 2013 and a statistical market adjustment update was done in 2018.

Starting this week, Vision Government Solutions’ (Vision), hired by the City of Norwalk in October 2022, will begin the process by initiating the City-wide 2023 Revaluation Project. Vision will work closely with the Tax Assessor’s Department to complete this 12-month project.

The major phases of a municipal revaluation process are:

  • Phase 1 - Data Collection
    • This first phase begins this week as data collectors visit property owners to verify the data on file at their properties. Data collectors and city personnel will perform inspections of properties noting the location, size, age, and quality of construction, improvements, topography, utilities, zoning restrictions if any, and numerous other characteristics. The data collection phase is critical, as it enables the City to ensure accurate measurements on main structures and outbuildings. This is the most time-intensive phase of the project but the most critical for data accuracy and integrity. This phase is estimated to be completed by July 2023.
  • Phase 2 - Market Analysis
    • For this phase, a variety of resources are used to analyze the real estate market. While the physical data is being collected, appraisal personnel analyze property sales over the prior year to determine which market factors influence property values. Once all the data is collected and reviewed for accuracy, appraisers will determine land values and set neighborhood boundaries, contributing to the valuation rates attributed to various locations throughout the City.
  • Phase 3 - Valuation
    • The valuation phase is completed using three recognized appraisal methods: the Cost Approach, the Income Approach and the Sales Comparison Approach. During this phase, individual characteristics of buildings are analyzed using information gathered in phases 1 and 2. Each property is compared to other properties with similar characteristics. Then the contributory market value of improvements is added to the previously determined land values. This value is the final estimate for each parcel of property, building and land.
  • Phase 4 - Final Review
    • The final review is the method of checking and re-checking the values that have been determined and the data that has been collected. During this review, properties are viewed in the field by experienced appraisers who double-check uniformity and accuracy of information.
  • Phase 5 - Informal Hearings
    • The informal hearing phase occurs once the data collection, market analysis, valuation, and final review phases of this revaluation are completed, and property owners have been mailed the preliminary estimate of their property’s value. At this point, anyone with questions concerning the revaluation process or the data collected on their property will have an opportunity to make an appointment to discuss their property value.

As data collectors begin to visit properties this week, residents will be able to identify them through their clothing and vehicles. Data collectors will be wearing reflective clothing, carrying an identification badge and a letter of introduction. They will also have an “Assessor’s Office” sign posted on the vehicle and their cars will be registered with the Norwalk Police Department and Tax Assessor’s Office. If no one is home during the inspection visit, Vision will send a letter to property owners requesting that the property owner call to arrange for an interior inspection.

After the initial data collection phase, market analysis and valuation will begin, followed by a detailed review of properties to check and re-check values to ensure uniformity and accuracy of information. This will be followed by a Notice of New Values mailed to each property owner and an Informal Hearings phase.

You can also visit the Vision Government Solutions website for additional information explaining each stage of the revaluation process as well as answers to Frequently Asked Questions at

https://www.vgsi.com/taxpayer-revaluation-information/

For questions about the revaluation process or additional information, please contact the Tax Assessor’s Office at (203)-854-7888.

 

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