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Substitute Senate Bill No. 606

PUBLIC ACT NO. 96-171

AN ACT CONCERNING TECHNICAL CHANGES RELATED TO PROPERTY TAX ADMINISTRATION AND PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION APPEALS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 7-328 of the general statutes, as amended by section 25 of public act 95-283, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The territorial limits of the district shall constitute a separate taxing district, and the assessor or assessors of the town shall separate the property within the district from the other property in the town and shall annually furnish the clerk of the district with a copy of the GRAND list OF ALL PROPERTY IN THE DISTRICT after it has been completed by the board of assessment appeals of the town. IF THE LEGISLATIVE BODY OF THE TOWN ELECTS, PURSUANT TO SECTION 12-62a OR 12-62c, AS AMENDED, TO DEFER ALL OR ANY PART OF THE AMOUNT OF THE INCREASE IN THE ASSESSED VALUE OF REAL PROPERTY IN THE YEAR A REVALUATION BECOMES EFFECTIVE AND IN ANY SUCCEEDING YEAR IN WHICH SUCH DEFERMENT IS ALLOWED, THE GRAND LIST FURNISHED TO THE CLERK OF THE DISTRICT FOR EACH SUCH YEAR SHALL REFLECT ASSESSMENTS BASED UPON SUCH DEFERMENT. When the district meeting has fixed the tax rate, the clerk shall prepare a rate bill, apportioning to each owner of property his proportionate share of the taxes, which rate bill, when prepared, shall be delivered to the treasurer; and the district and the treasurer thereof shall have the same powers as towns and collectors of taxes to collect and enforce payment of such taxes, and such taxes when laid shall be a lien upon the property in the same manner as town taxes, and such liens may be continued by certificates recorded in the land record office of the town, and foreclosed in the same manner as liens for town taxes. THE ASSESSOR OR BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS SHALL PROMPTLY FORWARD TO THE CLERK OF THE DISTRICT ANY CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION OR NOTICE OF ANY OTHER LAWFUL CHANGE TO THE GRAND LIST OF THE DISTRICT. THE DISTRICT CLERK SHALL, WITHIN TEN DAYS OF RECEIPT OF ANY SUCH CERTIFICATE OR NOTICE, FORWARD A COPY THEREOF TO THE TREASURER, AND THE ASSESSMENT OF THE PROPERTY FOR WHICH SUCH CERTIFICATE OR NOTICE WAS ISSUED AND THE RATE BILL RELATED THERETO SHALL BE CORRECTED ACCORDINGLY. If the district constructs any drain, sewer, sidewalk, curb or gutter, such proportion of the cost thereof as such district determines may be assessed by the board of directors, in the manner prescribed by such district, upon the property specially benefited by such drain, sewer, sidewalk, curb or gutter, and the balance of such costs shall be paid from the general funds of the district. In the construction of any flood or erosion control system, the cost to such district may be assessed and shall be payable in accordance with sections 25-87 to 25-93, inclusive. Subject to the provisions of the general statutes, the district may issue bonds and the board of directors may pledge the credit of the district for any money borrowed for the construction of any public works or the acquisition of recreational facilities authorized by sections 7-324 to 7-329, inclusive, AS AMENDED and such board shall keep a record of all notes, bonds and certificates of indebtedness issued, disposed of or pledged by the district. All moneys received by the directors on behalf of the district shall be paid to the treasurer. No contract or obligation which involves an expenditure in the amount of (1) ten thousand dollars or more in districts where the grand list is less than or equal to twenty million dollars, or (2) twenty thousand dollars or more in districts where the grand list is greater than twenty million dollars, in any one year shall be made by the board of directors, unless the same is specially authorized by a vote of the district, nor shall the directors borrow money without like authority. The clerk of the district shall give written notice to the treasurer of the town in which the district is located of any final decision of the board of directors to borrow money, not later than thirty days after the date of such decision. The district may adopt ordinances, with penalties to secure their enforcement, for the purpose of regulating the carrying out of the provisions of sections 7-324 to 7-329, inclusive, AS AMENDED and defining the duties and compensation of its officers and the manner in which their duties shall be carried out.

(b) Upon the request of the clerk of any district, the registrar of voters and the assessor of the town in which the district is located shall provide a list of voters of the district.

Sec. 2. Section 10-261a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, shall, on the basis of data provided by each town in the state in accordance with section 10-261b, determine annually for each town the ratio of the assessed valuation of real property for purposes of the property tax and the fair market value of such property as determined from records of actual sales of such property and from such other data and statistical techniques as deemed appropriate by the secretary. Said ratio as determined with respect to any town shall be used by the secretary to compute the equalized net grand list for such town for purposes of any grant that may be payable to such town under the provisions of section 10-262i, provided the sales assessment ratio used to compute the equalized net grand list of each town shall be calculated using uniform procedures for all towns [, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (c) of section 12-62a.] The equalized net grand list in such town shall consist of the assessed value of all real property on the net grand list divided by said ratio, plus the assessed value of all personal property on such net grand list divided by the assessment ratio in current use in such town.

(b) The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management shall, annually, no later than the first day of August submit the equalized net grand list for each town to the State Board of Education for purposes of computing the amount of grant payable to any town under the provisions of said section 10-262i.

(c) The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management shall, annually, no later than the first day of May mail to the chief executive officer and the assessor in each town and to the State Board of Education, notification concerning the equalized net grand list computed with respect to such town. Within fifteen days following receipt of such notification, any town may appeal to the secretary for a hearing concerning such equalized net grand list, provided such appeal shall be in writing and include a statement as to the reasons for such appeal. The secretary shall, within fifteen days following receipt of such appeal, grant or deny such hearing by notification in writing, including in the event of denial, a statement as to the reasons for such denial. If any town is aggrieved by the action of the secretary following such hearing or in denying any such hearing, such town may, within thirty days, appeal to the superior court for the judicial district in which such town is located. Such appeal shall be a preferred case, to be heard, unless cause appears to the contrary, at the first session, by the court. Upon all such appeals which are denied, costs may be taxed against the town at the discretion of the court, but no costs shall be taxed against the state.

(d) The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management is authorized to adopt regulations concerning the determinations and procedures required by this section, provided prior to such adoption a copy shall be sent to the chief executive officer and the assessor in each town and the secretary shall allow a reasonable period of time following such notification for any town to request a hearing concerning such proposed regulations or to submit recommendations.

Sec. 3. Subsection (c) of section 12-53a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(c) Not later than ninety days after receipt by the assessor of such notice from the building inspector or from a determination by the assessor that such new construction is being used for the purpose for which same was constructed, the assessor shall determine the increment by which assessment for the completed construction exceeds the assessment on the taxable grand list for the immediately preceding assessment date. He shall prorate such amount from the date of issuance of the certificate of occupancy or the date on which such new construction was first used for the purpose for which same was constructed, as the case may be, to the assessment date immediately following and shall add said increment as so prorated to the taxable grand list for the immediately preceding assessment date and shall within five days notify the record owner as appearing on such grand list and the tax collector of the municipality of such additional assessment. SUCH NOTICE SHALL INCLUDE INFORMATION DESCRIBING THE MANNER IN WHICH AN APPEAL MAY BE FILED WITH THE BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS.

Sec. 4. Subsection (a) of section 12-55 of the general statutes, as amended by section 2 of public act 95-283, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) When the lists of any town have been so received or made by the assessor or board of assessors, they shall equalize the same, if necessary, and make any assessment omitted by mistake or required by law. The assessor or board of assessors may increase or decrease the valuation of property as named in any of such lists or in the last-preceding grand list, but, in each case of any increase in valuation of such property above the valuation, if any, stated by the person filing such list or in each case of any increase of valuation above the valuation of such property in the last-preceding grand list, except with respect to the valuation of any motor vehicle, they shall send written notice by mail of such increase in accordance with subsection (b) of this section, including in such notice the valuation prior to and after such increase with respect to each parcel of real property or any improvement thereon, the valuation of which has been increased, to the last-known address of the person whose list or valuation is so changed. SUCH NOTICE SHALL INCLUDE INFORMATION DESCRIBING THE MANNER IN WHICH AN APPEAL MAY BE FILED WITH THE BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS. When such lists have been so completed, the assessor or board of assessors shall arrange such lists in alphabetical order and lodge the same, except as otherwise specially provided by law, in the town clerk's or assessors' office, on or before the thirty-first day of January, for public inspection. Such assessor or board of assessors shall make an abstract of such lists, including the twenty-five per cent added thereto, shall take and subscribe the oath provided by law, which shall be certified by the officer administering the same and endorsed upon or attached to such abstract, and, except as otherwise specially provided by law, shall lodge such abstract in the town clerk's office, on or before the thirty-first day of January next after the date prescribed for the filing of such lists, for public inspection. For the grand list of October 1, 2000, and each grand list thereafter, each assessor who signs the grand list of the town shall be certified in accordance with the provisions of section 12-40a AS AMENDED. Any assessor or board of assessors of any town who fails to comply with any provision of this section shall be fined five dollars.

Sec. 5. Subsection (a) of section 12-62 of the general statutes, as amended by section 3 of public act 95-283, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Commencing October 1, 1996, the assessors of all towns, consolidated towns and cities and consolidated towns and boroughs or their designees shall, no later than twelve years following the effective date of the last preceding revaluation by physical observation of all real property and every twelve years thereafter, revalue all of the real estate in their respective municipalities for assessment purposes by physical observation of all real estate in the municipality. In addition, commencing October 1, 1996, every four years following such physical revaluation, such assessors OR THEIR DESIGNEES shall revalue all real property for assessment purposes by use of a statistical method of adjusting the value, without a physical observation, reflecting any change in the value of such real estate as compared to its value determined for the purposes of said immediately preceding revaluation. The assessments derived from each physical and statistical revaluation shall be used for the purpose of levying property taxes in such municipality in the assessment year in which such revaluation becomes effective and in each assessment year thereafter until the next succeeding revaluation in accordance with this section becomes effective. In the performance of these duties, except in any municipality where there is a single assessor, at least two of the assessors shall act together, and all valuations shall be separately approved by a majority of the assessors.

Sec. 6. Subsection (c) of section 12-62 of the general statutes, as amended by section 3 of public act 95-283, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(c) During the conduct of any such revaluation in accordance with this section in any municipality and during a period of not less than twelve months immediately following the date on which such revaluation becomes effective, any criteria, guidelines, price schedules or statement of procedures used in such revaluation by the assessors or any revaluation company shall be available for public inspection in the assessor's office in such municipality in the manner provided for public records in subsection (a) of section 1-19 AS AMENDED. ANY SUCH CRITERIA, GUIDELINES, PRICE SCHEDULES OR STATEMENT OF PROCEDURES SHALL CONTINUE TO BE AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC INSPECTION UNTIL THE NEXT REVALUATION OF REAL PROPERTY BECOMES EFFECTIVE. The provisions of this subsection shall be applicable to any such criteria, guidelines, price schedules or statement of procedures placed on file in such assessor's office on or after [October 1, 1979] OCTOBER 1, 1996

Sec. 7. Subsection (g) of section 12-62 of the general statutes, as amended by section 3 of public act 95-283, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(g) The assessor or board of assessors shall send written notice by mail of each revaluation conducted pursuant to this section to each person whose property was revalued. Such notice shall include information describing the property owner's rights to appeal [such revaluation] THE VALUATION OF HIS PROPERTY, INCLUDING THE MANNER IN WHICH AN APPEAL MAY BE FILED WITH THE BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS.

Sec. 8. Subsections (e) and (f) of section 12-62a of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(e) [Any] COMMENCING OCTOBER 1, 1996, ANY such municipality may, with respect to the assessment list in such municipality in a year in which a revaluation becomes effective, as required under section 12-62, AS AMENDED BY SECTIONS 5 TO 7, INCLUSIVE, OF THIS ACT provided such revaluation has resulted in an increase in the total assessed value of all real property on the assessment list in the year immediately preceding such revaluation, [commencing with any such assessment list for 1977 and including any such list for assessment years commencing October 1, 1978, to October 1, 1985, inclusive, or commencing on and after October 1, 1992,] by vote of its legislative body and in the manner provided in this subsection, defer all or any part of the amount of such increase in the assessed value of real property included in the assessment list in the year such revaluation becomes effective, provided in the year such revaluation becomes effective and in any succeeding year in which such deferment is allowed by such municipality, the assessed value of such real property in the year immediately preceding revaluation shall be increased in such equal amounts in each of such years that the assessed value of such real property in the last year of such deferment, but in no event later than the [fourth] THIRD year following the year of such revaluation, shall be no less than the assessed value applicable to such property in the year of revaluation except for deferment of such increased assessment in accordance with this subsection. In any municipality with such a revaluation becoming effective and electing to defer all or any part of the amount of such increase in the assessed value of real property over the period of [four] THREE years immediately following, as provided in this subsection, subject to approval by the legislative body as provided above with respect to real property included in the assessment list in the year of such revaluation, new real estate construction in such municipality which is completed and determined to be subject to property tax as provided in section 12-53a AS AMENDED after the assessment date in the year of such revaluation and prior to the assessment date in the [fourth] THIRD year following the year of such revaluation, may be assessed during such period in a manner similar to that provided in this subsection for real property included in the assessment list in the year of such revaluation, deferring a portion of the actual assessed value of such new construction as of the date liability for property tax is established and adding such portion in equal increments to an assessed value for such new construction estimated as that which would have been applicable if it had been completed immediately prior to the assessment date in the year of such revaluation, such increments to be added in each assessment year commencing with the year in which liability for property tax is so established and ending not later than the [fourth] THIRD year following the year of such revaluation. The assessed value for purposes of this subsection in each of said years shall be determined as the sum of (1) such estimated assessed value (2) any of the equal increments already added to such estimated value for purposes of determining the assessed value in accordance with this subsection and (3) the increment for the year with respect to which such assessed value is being determined. The portion of the actual assessed value of such new construction as of the date of such liability which is to be deferred and added in increments to such estimated assessed value shall be the amount by which the actual assessed value of such new construction on the date tax liability is so established exceeds the estimated assessed value for such new construction as described in this subsection.

(f) Any municipality which has elected to defer all or any part of the amount of increase in the assessed value of real property as provided in subsection (e) may (1) continue the plan of such deferment as approved by the legislative body of such municipality until the [fourth] THIRD year following the year of such revaluation as provided in said subsection (e) or (2) at any time, subject to approval by the legislative body in such municipality, discontinue the plan of such deferment as adopted and notwithstanding the provisions of section 7-344 AS AMENDED and any other public or special act or charter, lay such rate of property tax on the assessment list for the assessment year in which such discontinuance occurs, as completed and placed in the town clerk's office in accordance with section 12-55, AS AMENDED without any deferment of amounts of increase in assessed values in accordance with said subsection (e), in the amount that would have been applicable with respect to said assessment list if such plan of deferment had not been adopted. In the event any such tax in accordance with said subsection (e) has been levied and become due and payable in such assessment year prior to the date of such discontinuance as provided in this subsection, the amount of tax due and payable under this subsection shall be that portion of such tax in excess of the amount of tax due and payable prior to the date of such discontinuance and which amount, notwithstanding discontinuance of such plan of deferment, shall continue to be collectible by the tax collector. Within a period not exceeding thirty days following the date on which such plan of deferment is discontinued, the assessor in such municipality shall notify the tax collector as to the additional amounts of such tax due with respect to the assessment list for the assessment year in which such discontinuance occurs and the tax collector shall within ten days thereafter mail a bill to the owner of each parcel of real property subject to such additional tax. Such tax shall be due and payable and collectible as other municipal property taxes, provided such tax shall be due and payable in an initial or single instalment not sooner than thirty days following the date such bill is mailed to the owner and in any remaining instalments of equal amounts as the same are determined to be due and payable by the legislative body.

Sec. 9. Section 12-63 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The present true and actual value of land classified as farm land pursuant to section 12-107c, AS AMENDED as forest land pursuant to section 12-107d, AS AMENDED or as open space land pursuant to section 12-107e AS AMENDED shall be based upon its current use without regard to neighborhood land use of a more intensive nature, provided in no event shall the present true and actual value of open space land be less than it would be if such open space land comprised a part of a tract or tracts of land classified as farm land pursuant to section 12-107c AS AMENDED. The present true and actual value of all other property shall be deemed by all assessors and boards of [tax review] ASSESSMENT APPEALS to be the fair market value thereof and not its value at a forced or auction sale.

Sec. 10. Section 12-94c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

With respect to machinery or equipment exempt from property tax in accordance with subdivision (72) of section 12-81, for purposes of the annual valuation required with respect to the determination of tax revenue loss required under section 12-94b, the present true and actual value of such machinery or equipment shall be determined in relation to the cost of acquisition, including costs related to transportation and installation, and shall reflect depreciation in accordance with the following schedule:

Depreciated Value

Assessment Year As Percentage

Following Acquisition Of Acquisition Cost Basis

First Ninety per cent

Second Eighty per cent

Third Seventy per cent

Fourth Sixty per cent

FIFTH FIFTY PER CENT

Sec. 11. Section 12-111 of the general statutes, as amended by section 50 of public act 95-283, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Any person, including any lessee of real property whose lease has been recorded as provided in section 47-19 and who is bound under the terms of his lease to pay real property taxes and any person to whom title to such property has been transferred since the assessment date, claiming to be aggrieved by the doings of the assessors of such town may appeal therefrom to [such] THE board of assessment appeals. Such appeal shall be filed, in writing, on or before February twentieth. The written appeal shall include, but is not limited to, the property owner's name, name and position of the signer, description of the property which is the subject of the appeal, name and mailing address of the party to be sent all correspondence by THE board of assessment appeals, reason for the appeal, appellant's estimate of value, signature of property owner, or duly authorized agent of the property owner, and date of signature. The board shall notify each aggrieved taxpayer who filed a written appeal in the proper form and in a timely manner, no later than March first immediately following the assessment date, of the date, time and place of the appeal hearing. Such notice shall be sent no later than seven calendar days preceding the hearing date except that the board may elect not to conduct an appeal hearing for any commercial, industrial, utility or apartment property with an assessed value greater than five hundred thousand dollars. The board shall, not later than March first, notify the appellant that the board has elected not to conduct an appeal hearing. The board shall determine all such appeals and [report in writing] SEND WRITTEN NOTIFICATION OF the final determination of such appeals to each such person within one week after such determination has been made. SUCH WRITTEN NOTIFICATION SHALL INCLUDE INFORMATION DESCRIBING THE PROPERTY OWNER'S RIGHT TO APPEAL THE DETERMINATION OF SUCH BOARD. Such board may equalize and adjust the valuations and assessment lists of such town and may increase the items of taxable property in the list of any person, or the number, quantity or amount of any such item, or add to any such list any taxable property or interest therein omitted by the assessors which should be added thereto; and may add to the assessment list the name of any person omitted by the assessors and owning taxable property in such town, and make a list for him, putting therein all property liable to taxation which it has reason to believe is owned by him, at the percentage of its actual valuation, as determined by the assessors in accordance with the provisions of sections 12-64 and 12-71, from the best information that it can obtain, and add thereto twenty-five per cent of such assessment; but, before proceeding to increase the list of any person or to add to the assessment list the name of any person so omitted, it shall mail to him, postage paid, at least one week before making such increase or addition, a written or printed notice addressed to him at the town in which he resides, to appear before such board and show cause why such increase or addition should not be made.

Sec. 12. Subsection (c) of section 12-117 of the general statutes, as amended by section 55 of public act 95-283, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(c) During any assessment year in which the provisions of subsection (b) of this section become applicable, the assessor or board of assessors shall, within sixty days of the date on which the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management grants his authorization, complete the list as required by said subsection. Each owner whose property valuation on such list has been increased above the valuation of such property in the last-preceding grand list shall be sent an increase notice. The notice shall be prepared in the manner [and delivered within the time] prescribed in section 12-55 AS AMENDED, AND SHALL BE SENT NOT EARLIER THAN THE DATE ON WHICH SAID SECRETARY GRANTS HIS AUTHORIZATION AND NOT LATER THAN THE TENTH DAY FOLLOWING THE DATE ON WHICH THE ASSESSOR COMPLETES THE LIST AS REQUIRED BY THIS SUBSECTION. IF SUCH INCREASE NOTICE IS SENT LATER THAN THE TIME PERIOD PRESCRIBED IN THIS SUBSECTION, SUCH INCREASE SHALL BECOME EFFECTIVE ON THE NEXT SUCCEEDING GRAND LIST. Any owner may appeal said valuation to the board of assessment appeals within thirty days of the date the notice was sent.

Sec. 13. Section 12-170g of the general statutes, as amended by section 19 of public act 95-283, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

If, in the process of verification, the Secretary of the Office Of Policy and Management finds a certificate of grant under section 12-170fm AS AMENDED to be mathematically incorrect, not supported by the application or not in conformance with law or that additional information is needed to justify approving the claim for the grant, he shall notify the assessor or assessors who issued such certificate WITHIN NINETY DAYS and the applicant within [sixty] ONE HUNDRED TWENTY days of receipt of such certificate by him and advise them of the deficiencies therein or he may correct and fix the amount of the grant and notify them thereof [within such time.] Any person aggrieved by the action of the secretary or the assessor or assessors in fixing the amount of the grant or in disapproving the claim therefor may apply to the secretary in writing, within thirty days from the date of notice given to him by the secretary, giving notice of such grievance. The secretary shall promptly consider such notice and may grant or deny the relief requested, provided such decision shall be made not later than sixty days after the receipt of such notice. If the relief is denied, the applicant shall be notified forthwith, and the applicant may within thirty days after receipt of such notification, request a hearing before the secretary. The secretary shall fix a time and place for such hearing within the judicial district in which the applicant resides and shall notify the applicant of such time and place not later than fifteen days prior to the date of such hearing. At such hearing he may subpoena witnesses and may administer oaths and make such inquiries as may be necessary to determine the amount of the grant to conform to the provisions of this chapter and sections 12-129b to 12-129d, inclusive AS AMENDED. If the applicant is aggrieved with respect to any action of the secretary under this section, he may within thirty days, appeal to the superior court for the judicial district [of Hartford-New Britain pursuant to section 12-39l] IN WHICH HE RESIDES. Any applicant who, for the purpose of obtaining a grant under this section, wilfully fails to disclose all matters related thereto or with intent to defraud makes false statement shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than one year or both.

Sec. 14. Notwithstanding the failure of Young Israel of New Haven, Inc. to file a quadrennial statement claiming exemption from property tax under the provisions of subdivision (11) of section 12-81 of the general statutes with the board of assessors of East Haven within the time prescribed by law as required by said subdivision or to file such statement within any extension of time allowed pursuant to section 12-87a of the general statutes, the time within which Young Israel of New Haven, Inc. may file such statement with respect to the grand list for the assessment year commencing October 1, 1993, is extended to September 1, 1996, provided said corporation shall pay the late-filing fee specified in said section 12-87a.

Sec. 15. Subsections (c) and (d) of section 12-62a of the general statutes are repealed.

Sec. 16. This act shall take effect from its passage.

Approved May 31, 1996. Effective May 31, 1996.

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