The mayor of Stamford believes the revaluation of the city’s properties should be postponed for a year. Here’s why.

STAMFORD – Mayor David Martin calls on state legislature to allow Stamford and other municipalities to delay mandatory property reassessments by one year, citing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on property values .

State law requires cities and towns to re-evaluate commercial and residential properties every five years. Stamford and dozens of other Connecticut municipalities are due to be reassessed in 2022.

Stamford’s Big List for October 1, 2022 – a list of all of its taxable assets – is said to be based on updated property values. These values ​​will then be used to calculate property taxes starting in 2023.

Due to the pandemic, “the residential and single-family apartment markets in Fairfield County are valued considerably higher, while other types of properties, such as retail businesses, are depressed and weakened,” noted a press release from Martin’s office. This disparity could lead to a 10 to 15% increase in residential property taxes in the summer of 2023, according to the press release.

“I am concerned that our residential neighborhoods will be hit by much higher property taxes due to a short-term increase in house prices,” Martin said in a statement Friday. “I believe that by delaying the revaluation for a year, we will see a stabilization of price fluctuations in the market and achieve a more accurate and fair assessment of real estate values ​​until the next five-year revaluation cycle.”

Stamford’s reassessment in 2022 includes physical inspections of properties; this process is already underway. Under a contract of approximately $ 900,000, employees of Municipal Valuations Services are knocking on doors and inspecting properties across the city.

The last physical inspections were carried out as part of Stamford’s reassessment in 2012. The city’s revaluation in 2017 was only statistical.

“There are two types of reassessments: fully physical and statistical,” explained Greg Stackpole, Stamford’s tax assessor. “The difference between the two is that a full physique requires a visit to the real estate parcel to ensure the information recorded is accurate before a fair market valuation is determined. Both types require a comprehensive analysis of market conditions for all types of property, including data on sales, leases, income and expenses of commercial property owners; it is the statistical component of any reassessment.

Martin wants the city to be able to postpone the statistical part, the work of which will cost nearly $ 500,000, he said.

“We would like the state to allow this option to postpone the local reassessment as soon as possible so that Stamford can make responsible and economical decisions in a timely manner,” said Martin. “A delay in state action could result in Stamford wasting hundreds of thousands of people in a reassessment that could be overturned next year. “

However, Martin noted that if the state legislature allows municipalities to delay their reassessments, Stamford’s decision to do so will depend on the next Council of Representatives and her successor: State Representative Caroline Simmons, who beat him in the Democratic primary, ie unaffiliated. candidate Bobby Valentine. Municipal elections are scheduled for November 2.

Simmons and Valentine both said they would support a delay.

“As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, I believe it is essential to postpone the next property reassessment,” Simmons said in a statement posted on Facebook. “It would be unfair for residents who are already struggling during this difficult time to see a huge property tax increase based on a bloated housing market. “

“We applaud the efforts of the Martin administration to delay the reassessment of the property,” Valentine said in a statement. “We’ve been championing this since May, as homeowners already bear the brunt of the city’s spending burden. “

On Monday, Martin said he was writing a letter to the state legislature – which is currently not in regular session – asking for the delay. The next regular session of the legislature is expected to begin in February and end in May.

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