Condo owners have to pay for services the Town of New Canaan provides free of charge to home owners. Condo complexes are responsible for paving and maintaining their own roads. At Prides Crossing, we budget to spend $300,000-plus every 20 years to repave our roads. We reserve $15,000 per year in anticipation of that expense. In addition, we spend $30,000 annually for snowplowing and $5,000 per year to upgrade the lighting of our roads.
The New Canaan real estate property revaluation has raised the value of condominiums by an average of 9 percent, counter to the town-wide Grand List decline of 7 percent. This 16 percent delta, plus an anticipated mill rate increase, will surely increase property taxes on condos by 20 to 25 percent.
Condos are owned by seniors. At Prides Crossing, more than 90 percent of units are owned by residents older than 65, and 50 percent are single. The revaluation will increases the monthly (tax) carrying cost by at least $200 per month for our smallest unit. In the condo market, monthly increases in expenses directly correlate to lower market sales and values.
New Canaan’s highest elected official said Monday morning that the total value of taxable real estate in New Canaan is expected to decline by about $570 million, from one year ago.
The figure represents a year-over-year decline in the real estate portion of the Grand List of about 7.15 percent, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said during a regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen, held at Town Hall. (The total Grand List last year, including taxable motor vehicles, was $8.3 billion.)
During an update on the town-wide property revaluation conducted by Fairfield-based Municipal Valuation Services LLC, Moynihan gave an overview of proposed new property assessments in town. He said that the following preliminary results, supplied to him by the assessor—a property-by-property breakdown can be found here—represent averages of assessed value ranges:
According to the assessor, 4,861 parcels saw an average decrease of 11 percent, while 2,308 parcels saw an average increase of 13 percent. Selectman Kit Devereaux asked whether the percentage differences represent changes in the averages of the assessed value of properties. Moynihan said yes.
The town last week received a civil summons from the owners of a Ponus Ridge home, seeking a reduced assessment of their property. Filed May 2 on behalf of the owners of 1480 Ponus Ridge by attorneys at Stamford-based Wofsey, Rosen, Kweskin & Kuriansky, LLP, the citation calls for town officials to appear later this month in state Superior Court in Stamford. According to the legal notice, the property’s owners had sought “relief against a wrongful assessment of real property for taxation” but no change in valuation was made after appearing before the Board of Assessment Appeals. Town records show that 77 property owners appeared before the board through four hearings in March. The Ponus Ridge homeowners’ property—a nearly 10,000-square-foot, 2007-built home on 3.24 acres—was valued at about $6.6 million, meaning its assessed value (70 percent of that figure) was about $4.6 million following an Oct.
Officials say they’re working toward the next town-wide revaluation and plan to capture an updated snapshot of all real property values in New Canaan as of Oct. 1, 2018. Working with a private company, town workers will complete a “statistical” rather than comprehensive valuation of New Canaan, according to Assessor Sebastian Caldarella. In other words, rather than entering residents’ homes to help determine values—an expensive and time-consuming process that state law requires every 10 years—the work involves studying home sales and market trends as well as permits issued for new construction in town, Caldarella told members of the Town Council during an informational update at their Jan. 18 meeting.