Letter: Assessment process needs transparency and fairness

To the Editors:
At the last Board of Finance meeting, the board described the dire financial situation Wilton is facing, or as they put it “a perfect storm of taxes.” For many Wilton citizens, not only are the state and federal taxes impacting them, but the current reappraisals will lead to significant property tax increases. For many citizens who have looked at Vision Appraisal data, they have become concerned that the process needs be made more transparent and fair for all citizens..
Having lived in Wilton for over 25 years, the assessment process was relatively easy to follow. This year’s appraisals have raised many questions on consistency and fairness. A highly questionable reassessment case in point, among others this year, are residences and U.S. government properties on Tall Oaks Road (nothing against the Tall Oaks folks). Those residences and properties had not attended the Vision Appraisal informals and assumed that they were OK with their assigned appraisals, yet the new town assessor arbitrarily decided to lower the assessments of all Tall Oaks properties not only once but twice (U.S. government properties as well).
Why is this of concern that the new town assessor did this even though not requested? This decreases the grand list which adds more of a tax burden to all residents who do not live on Tall Oaks. How many more residences did the assessor arbitrarily decide to lower even though they did not attend the informals or for other reasons, putting more tax pressure on all of us? What was the impetus for doing so? What can we do to offset this mysterious assessment process? We can call for further decreases in the Board of Education and Board of Selectmen budgets, but we have to live with this chaotic assessment process for four more years.
Source: Vision Government Solutions
Kevin Hickey
Wilton, April 15