Board of Finance Chair: Understanding the Recent Revaluation


The Town of New Canaan has completed our latest property revaluations. New assessments have been mailed out to property owners. Mandated every 10 years, this most recent revaluation saw an estimated 25% surge in the total value of properties in New Canaan, known as the Grand List, from $8 billion to $10 billion. This level of increase is unprecedented.

Property taxes are calculated through the use of a mill rate. As many of you are aware, the mill rate is applied to each $1,000 of the assessed value of the property. To avoid being over-valued in a down market, the assessed value represents 70% of the presumed market value of the property. The current mill rate is 18.94. For example, the property taxes on an assessed value of $1.5M today would be 18.94 times 1,500 or $28,410. You can multiply this current mill rate times your current assessed value to confirm your current property taxes.

With the Grand list going up, the corresponding mill rate will decline. The new mill rate will be set by the Board of Finance in May 2024. All things equal, the mill rate will decline approximately the same percentage amount as the Grand list value increased. Don’t multiply your new assessed value times the current mill rate! That will overstate your projected property taxes.

Using the example above, if the new assessed value increased from $1.5M to $2M, up 33%, and the mill rate declines to 14.50 (an example only), the new property tax will be 14.50 times 2,000 or $29,000; a 2% increase from the current $28,410. The expected lower mill rate next year should have a positive impact on automobile taxes. Assessment questions should be directed to Sebastian Calderella (Town Assessor). His email is

As always, the Board of Finance, working with the Board of Selectman, the Town Council, and all of the town departments, will work hard to keep our expenses in check while delivering the excellent schools and services we all would like. The new mill rate with the new assessments will take effect July 1st 2024.

Todd Lavieri,

Chairman, Board of Finance

15 thoughts on “Board of Finance Chair: Understanding the Recent Revaluation

  1. Thanks, Todd. Very helpful article. Would you also explain what factors are making one assessment increase about 25% (the total Grand List percentage increase), whereas another might increase about 38%, in the absence of visible improvements to the property? Is this due to comparable sales prices in the area of the second house increasing more than the first?

    • Glad it was helpful. The specifics regarding the assessed values are really for the Town Assessor. I don’t have those details.

    • We will try to be in that ballpark. Budget season starts this month, so we will see how things go. But we can’t commit to a figure today of course. As I said, it was an example at this point to provide immediate insight to the town residents for guidance rather than have an information vacuum over the next 6 months until we set the new rate. Our first budget meeting is in February after the BOS review and approve the budget in January.

      Thx for the question.

  2. Todd, I’m curious to know the median increase in assessed value. I don’t know if this is within your perview but maybe the town assessor can weigh in here if that is the more appropriate person to respond.

  3. Hello, as a senior citizen in my home for 20 years my assessment letter is outrageous. My assessed value was increased 92% and the house section itself was increased 353%. If I use Mr. Lavieri’s formula as an example, my taxes will increase 50% not 2% downplayed above. Obviously the very young person who came here and only looked outside did not consider the hundreds of thousands of repair list items needed on this 35 year old property with 3 bedrooms that I have to deal with and compares my house to the beautiful newly renovated in 2021 neighbor’s larger 4 bedroom house with only 6% lower in assessed value than mine is totally inequitable! My house would need to be gutted and I’d have to move out to get it in the condition of my neighbor’s remodeled house. If I sell my house, it will likely need gutting or be torn down. I can mention the original 1988 old kitchen, old bathrooms, old windows with broken inside parts and outside damages around the frame needing repair, well water, old electricity with outside lighting repairing, baseboard old heat with beat up metal. Stained worn out wood floors and stairs, old roof, ceiling leaks repairing, need new garage doors, rusted fireplace that is covered because can’t be used until replacing insert, old broken long driveway due to septic issues with roots of trees needs replacing, old appliances need update and the house is adjacent to the railroad tracks and highways with steep grading to deal with and a neighboring house ruined upper part of my backyard and deer fence without putting a retaining wall when they leveled their yard and I contacted the town who said they could not help me to get the builder to fix it when they put up a big fence. As a single older mom and paying for kids’ college, I did not have time yet to deal with all this or do any upgrades except for emergency things that had to be done. I would like to renovate someday but paying 50% more for taxes now without any improvements is ridiculous and means I have a third tax payment of the same amount compared to what I pay today! If I ever renovate and put a couple hundred thousand into this house, then I would understand but my house is 1988 with original ceiling fans, can lighting and operating room lights in basement and things I mention above and more I can’t probably think of, and my house is not a mansion that is common in New Canaan. I don’t understand why I am singled out here and I will appeal and hope that this error in judgment of my house by the firm you hired will be appropriately fixed. But now I have to spend stressful worry time, my stomach in knots and feel you want older residents without children in New Cannon’s school anymore and about to hopefully retire someday to leave New Canaan swiftly. I am very upset that instead of enjoying the holidays I will have a short timeframe to support a crazy appeal of 92% increase in assessed value and 50% increase in taxes while my friends with beautiful houses have 20% increase and less than 2% increase in taxes and I’m jealous they don’t have to do a meeting and can spend more time with their family instead of this awful process while I suffer and can’t spend that time with my child who is coming home next week while I run around getting comparable and writing a presentation on my house for the assessor. Just frustrated Mr. Lavieri and thank you for any comments.

      • I don’t think the POCD Committee is the right place for this concern, Giacomo—I’d be surprised if the words ‘tax’ or ‘assessment’ appear in that document. Cheryl refers to the Board of Assessment Appeals process and that seems like the appropriate next step that’s already in place (meetings each March). Those who find no satisfaction in their appeals are free to file a complaint in state Superior Court, it happens every year.

        • My guess Thursday will have a flavor of discussion on general housing affordability in New Canaan. Part of the issue this person mentions is how do we tax older homes compared with newer homes, which has a direct impact on affordability as well as actual price. If you are selling a home with the same particulars (i.e. # rooms – home size – lot size – etc.) but one is 30 years old and one is 3 years old and both have the same or similar tax cost (which she mentions) the older home will need to sell (actually transact) at a material discount due to investments that need to be made. My guess – and this is only a guess – is the issue she is highlighting may be a significant one for long-time residents of one home in town – my guess is she is also right that many of these people no longer have kids in school which is driving ~2/3 of the tax costs. So the question in terms of the POCD is if we want to keep these people in New Canaan how do we do that?

          • Thanks Giacomo. Keep in mind that rules around tax assessment in Connecticut derive from state statute, and—as with other municipal job duties that derive their authority from a law that sits higher than local ordinance, such as with the Chief Building Official and Health and Inland Wetlands directors—an assessor’s job is to apply the law locally. So I’m not sure that tailoring a town document like the POCD is appropriate or meaningful when it comes to assessment. That said, the way you are framing things here does feel POCDish to me.

          • Interesting that you seem to be advocating to find a method to keep people in town. The answer is simple— you allow diverse housing to be built by the town or private developers.

  4. The example given is not an accurate comparison of taxes. If the total value of assessments went up 25%, the mill rate would go down 20% to 15.152 to keep total revenue the same. The example house at 1.5M going up to 2M would show an increase of 6.67% from 28410 to 30304. And that is before any likely inflation increase in the mill rate.

    • Well at 92% overall inequitable increase it makes my situation even worse to equate to 54% higher than today for a senior citizen with a 35 year old house needing major improvements on steep land near the railroad tracks. And as you said there will also be inflation so in the end it will make it even higher. The computer generated assessments are not accurate for every house and that is why it may be necessary to appeal. Thsnk you Phil.

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