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Property Revaluations Wind Down

Two public meetings will be held in November to explain the methods used in this year's revaluation of all Greenwich real estate. Town Assessor Ted Gwartney said that because of the economy, most properties have declined in value since the last assessment in 2005.

"We look at the sales in the homes in the neighborhood, that way it gets to be a geographically driven home evaluation," said Gwartney. "In almost every case, the land value is going down, but it's going down by different amounts." Gwartney said the only property values that increased were along waterfront or in commercial areas.

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, properties may have risen or declined in value in any of the town's 53 neighborhoods. Market value is determined by studying home sales.

Though all property owners may not be notified of their assessment change until the end of November, the town is hosting two public meetings to inform residents of their right to appeal the new assessment. The first meeting will be held Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. in the Cone Room in Town Hall. The second will be Nov. 29 at Greenwich Library's Cole Auditorium.

"Everyone's real estate value changes, up and down, and so people are always anxious to understand why we're doing it, how it's being done and what impact it's going to have on them," said Gwartney. "Every real property owner will get a notice that will show his old assessment, his new assessment and his old tax rate alongside what his tax rate may be with the new assessment."

Individual information meetings with real estate appraisers will be conducted by appointment through December and January. Property owners still in disagreement with their new assessment may appeal to the Board of Assessment Appeals. Applications for these appeals are available online and must be filed by March 21. Hearings will be held in April 2010.

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