How Am I Assessed?

The primary method for doing real and personal property assessment is to look at sales of comparable homes in a neighborhood. The tax assessors look at the amount of land, the square feet of the home, and the number of bedrooms to estimate the value of every dwelling in Stamford. Development maps, reports of fire, and building permits also help show the assessor if any changes have happened to the home since it was last assessed. It is complex statistical process that takes into account many different factors.

Once a value is determined for the property, an assessment ratio is calculated, which is what you as a property owner will see. The assessment ratio is the relationship between the assessed value and the market value. In Stamford, the assessed value is 70% of the market value, which is in line with requirements of state law. (Connecticut General Statute Section 12-62s)
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Below is more detail in how the Tax Assessor's office does the assessment.

There are three major steps involved in the assessment of real and personal property:

1. Discovery
2. Listing
3. Pricing

The Assessor follows these steps to ensure that no property is omitted or listed twice, that each property is assessed to the correct person or persons, and that each property is assessed uniformly and according to law. 

Discovery
The assessor’s first responsibility is to locate both real and personal property. This process starts with the previous year’s tax lists. Additional sources of information are: (1) Town Clerk’s land records and property transfer deeds, (2) maps, particularly development maps, (3) the Commercial Record, (4) building permits, (5) newspapers, (6) removal permits or reports of fire, (7) physical inspection of properties, (8) personal property declarations, (9) motor vehicle registrations, (10) conditional bills of sale, (11) certificates of trade names, (12) annual reports, (13) beer and liquor licenses, and (14) corporation reports from the Secretary of the State.

Listing
After property has been located, the assessor puts together all property information on new tax lists, including motor vehicle, real estate, and corporate assets. Lists reflect the person in whose name the title to such interest stands in the land records on the assessment date. Lists also include: the owner’s name and address, the location and legal description of the property, and the size and quantity of land.

A description of each parcel of land, whether by lot number in a development or by block and lot numbers on the assessor’s maps, is clearly designated in the list so that no additional information is needed to identify the parcel. Each parcel of land is listed separately to ensure that no property is omitted and each parcel can be identified on the assessor’s maps.

Pricing
The Connecticut General Statutes* make two significant requirements: the same percentage must be used for all property, both real and personal, and the assessment must not be more than one hundred percent of value.

In the City of Stamford, as with other cities and towns throughout the state, the percentage which the assessor applies to full values before setting them in the grand list is known as the “assessment ratio” or the relationship between assessed value and market value. Section 12-62s of the General Statutes mandates assessment of all property at 70 percent of fair market value (i.e.; a property with a fair market value of $100,000 would be assessed for tax purposes at $70,000).

*To read the full statutes, click here: the Connecticut General Statutes Section 12-63 or Section 12-64