Property Revaluation -
February 22, 2007
All households and businesses that pay property taxes in Little Compton recently received a letter indicating the latest assessed value of their property. In most cases the values went up significantly over what they were when the last assessment was done in 2004. A common conclusion has been that there will be a significant jump in the property taxes people will have to pay. The Little Compton Taxpayers Association has done some investigation to ascertain whether or not this is the case.
This revaluation is a "statistical update" in that it was done using the property data on record and current market values based upon real estate sales over the past three years. The appraisals were done by Vision Appraisal Technology of Northborough, MA. No actual visits were made by Vision except for new construction built (or under construction) within the last three years.
The new assessment does not necessarily mean that the homeowner will be required to pay a larger tax bill. This statistical update is "revenue neutral" in that the tax rate will be adjusted downward to reflect the higher assessments. There is no windfall for the Tax Collector. In general, a homeowner whose assessment doubled would see a tax rate that is halved resulting in the same tax bill as before unless next year's budget rises above what it is today (discussed further). It is important to note, however, that factors were applied to certain properties (e.g., water view) that could result in a higher tax bill.
The actual tax rate will not be determined until the conclusion of the next Financial Town Meeting in May where next year's budget will be put to a vote. If that budget goes up significantly over this year's budget (something the LCTA is trying to prevent), then the homeowner will see a larger tax bill. Also, if a home has undergone significant improvements since the last assessment, the homeowner can expect a higher tax bill.
The LCTA advises all homeowners to carefully examine their statements from Vision Appraisal Technology for errors. Taxpayers should not worry that this statistical update is a means of compelling homeowners and business owners to pay disproportionately higher taxes than before. For those with access to the Internet, the basis of the new appraisals can be viewed at the following web site (click on the link):
For those who like to compare, the web site allows them to view other properties as well as their own.
For a more detailed report on your new assessed value, you may wish to visit the Tax Assessor's office and ask for a copy of your "Field Card" and any other cards that you believe may have a bearing on your assessment. A modest cost of one dollar is charged for each Field Card.