Killingworth homeowners will begin receiving assessment notices next week following the first townwide physical revaluation in 10 years.
According to officials, net property values have declined about 20 percent since the town's last revaluation in 2006.
"Revaluations are meant to equalize the burden of taxation throughout the town," said David Stannard, director of revaluation services for eQuality Valuation Services, the company hired to complete the process.
"People should really be unhappy that their assessments are going down. We all want both sides of the coin," explained Stannard, who indicated that some assessments may go up. "If the assessment goes down they're thinking, 'Well, maybe I'll pay less taxes' but that really isn't true when it becomes budgetary. The grand list is going down and the mill rate is going to go up."
Stannard joined Town Assessor Donna Shanoff to present details of the revaluation to the Board of Selectmen on Nov. 28.
Shanoff said appraisers had physically inspected nearly half of the town's 3,200 properties, while more than 1,100 properties did not require an inspection. Overall, about 60 percent of the town complied with the state-mandated inspection, officials said.
Thirty homeowners, a typical amount according to Shanoff, refused to allow appraisers on their property at all.
"If we end up going to court over any of this, judges do not look kindly on failure to allow you to enter their home to do your job in order to do the valuation process that we need to do," she said.
Homeowners who wish to appeal their assessment — which represents 70 percent of the market value of the home — must schedule a hearing with eQuality Valuation Services officials. The hearings will be held this month at the Killingworth firehouse.
Check the town's website for more information or call 860-663-1765 (ext. 506).
The assessments are also subject to an appeals process through the Board of Assessment Appeals.
Homeowners will not see the impact of the revaluation until July 1, 2012, when tax bills based on the new assessments are sent out. Killingworth's grand list, which has increased less than one percent over the past three years, will not be set until February.