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Greenwich Property Assessments Inch Up

GREENWICH, Conn. – Completed property assessments by the town of Greenwich show property values rose slightly and home building appears to be on the increase.

"It went up about 0.9 percent," said Bob Shippan, acting tax assessor. "It's pretty normal. People build homes." Total property value rose about $200 million since 2010. In 2010, 21,332 parcels of real estate were assessed, compared with 21,361 in 2011. There is also less vacant land in Greenwich since 2009-10, when there were 713 empty parcels, compared with 698 in 2010-11, according to the assessor's office.

Homes are assessed according to the 2010 revaluation of property in Greenwich and will hold for the next few years until another is done.

The town does a revaluation every five years to eliminate inequities that may have developed and to balance the tax burden among taxpayers. Since the last revaluation in 2005, most properties have declined in value, except waterfront or commercial area properties. Market value is determined by studying home sales. Owners have through Feb. 21 to appeal the assessments made on their homes.

"Usually the ones who appeal think they're overvalued so they think they're going to be overtaxed," said Shippan. The Board of Assessment Appeals will make decisions by March on those requests.

In 2010, the number of owners seeking appeals from the 2010 Grand List assessment decreased by 50 percent compared with 2005. Of 546 appeals, only 293 were granted. The only way to contest an assessment after losing an appeal is by going to court.

Motor vehicles and business property are valued to current standards, and value has risen, according to the assessor's office. The value of cars rose by $49 million since the last assessment, the largest increase in years. A total of 54,092 motor vehicles were assessed in Greenwich, compared with 54,311 in 2010. The value of cars in 2011 was $744,522,820 compared with $695,397,640 in 2010.

"I think people are getting new cars and are feeling a bit better about the economy, personally," said Shippan. In 2007, the value of cars rose $27 million, but dropped by $34 million in 2008 and again by $2 million in 2009. By 2010, motor vehicles value rose $35 million.

The value of business property — what's in an office, not the building itself — rose by $27 million in 2011, compared with a swift $34 million drop in 2010. From 2006 to 2009, personal property assessments all rose. However, from 2010 to 2011, there was a slight decrease in total personal property by businesses. In 2010, 4,252 parcels of personal property were assessed, while 4,240 parcels were assessed in 2011.

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