Wilton grand list is down 2.08%

In a year where properties faced revaluation, Wilton’s grand list has dropped 2.08%.

The preliminary 2018 grand list stands at $4.251 billion, down from $4.342 billion in 2017, a difference of $90,419,414.

First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice said Wilton fared better on its grand list than neighboring Weston, which saw a 6.3% decrease, and New Canaan, which has a 7.1% decrease.

“As with any revaluation, some residents will find their taxes going up, others down and some relatively flat,” said Vanderslice in an opinion piece in The Bulletin. “This year, the swings are likely to be wide with homes valued over $1 million and those in North Wilton generally falling, and those under $800,000 and those in South Wilton generally up. Whenever the impact is disproportional, there are some who will be hit particularly hard,” she said.

The Board of Selectmen will take the grand list numbers into account when reviewing senior tax relief numbers, Vanderslice said.

The grand list represents the assessed value (70% of market value) of all property — real estate, personal property and motor vehicles in Wilton from Oct. 1, 2016 through Oct. 1, 2017. It is one of the tools the Board of Finance will use in figuring the mill rate for fiscal year 2019-20.

The 2.08% grand list decrease comes from commercial and residential real estate values, which were down 2.42%, mitigated by a 1.17% increase in personal property and 2.09% increase in motor vehicle values.

The top 10 taxpayers on the 2018 grand list are:

  • CT Light & Power Company.
  • Teachers Insurance & Annuity Assoc.
  • Avalonbay Communities, Inc.
  • ASML, US Inc.
  • Wilton Campus 1691 LLC.
  • Wilton 50 LLC.
  • Wilton 40 LLC, Wilton River Park 1688 LLC.
  • Wilton Retirement Housing LLC.
  • I Park Norwalk II LLC.

The grand list had previously seen moderate increases over the past four years. The 2017 grand list grew by 0.651%, followed by 0.27% increase in 2016, 0.2% increase in 2015, and 0.7% increase in 2014.

North and South Wilton

Residential properties with homes and other improvements on them, were down 4% on the grand list, with a value difference between properties in North Wilton and South Wilton, Tax Assessor Sarah Scacco explained to the Board of Finance at a recent meeting.

Between Oct. 1, 2016 and Oct. 1, 2017, there were 131 property sales in South Wilton compared to 69 sales in North Wilton.

The average sales price in South Wilton was $913,791, while the average sales price in North Wilton was $784,791. The townwide average was $869,424.

There was also a difference in the median sales price. The median sales price in south Wilton was $800,000, while the median sales price in north Wilton was $735,000. The townwide median was $785,000.

Homes in the $1.2- to $1.5-million range took a larger hit than lower-priced homes, Scacco said. Properties in the $800,000- to $900,000-range fared much better. “The higher end is just not worth what it was,” Scacco said.

Commercial properties (anything with more than four units), fared better than residential properties and overall had a 2% increase in value. “Vacancy rates are down and apartments are big right now. Class A office buildings took a hit with more vacancy, and a decrease in valuation,” Scacco said.

Vacant land decreased by 10%, especially vacant land without any utilities, according to Scacco.

Appeals

The 2018 grand list is based on numbers obtained from the recent property revaluation, which had been delayed a year.

To gather information for the revaluation, the town sent out 5,936 data mailers for all residential improved properties in 2017. There were 4,020 mailers returned, a 68% return rate. About 47% of the data mailers that were returned (1,895) resulted in some kind of data correction.

Those who are dissatisfied with their assessments have the opportunity to file an application with the Board of Assessment Appeals. Applications need to be received by the assessor’s office no later than 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20. The applications may be obtained in the assessor’s office or online at wiltonct.org on the assessor’s page.

The grand list total is subject to change depending on any decisions made by the Board of Assessment Appeals.

pgay@wiltonbulletin.com

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