As a taxpayer, you may have questions about your taxes and how they are determined. The information below is provided to answer some of those questions. More detailed information concerning specific assessment and tax questions can be obtained by contacting the Tax Collector at 974-1885, ext. 6, or the Assessor at 974-1291 or 974-1885, ext. 7.
Q. What Types of property are subject to local property taxes?
Q. How is the value of my property arrived at?
Q. What if I receive a tax bill for a vehicle I no longer own or have registered in another state?
The motor vehicle tax bill you receive in July 2016 is based upon the registration of that vehicle as of October 1, 2015. With the proper proof, your motor vehicle bill may be deleted if prior to October 1, 2015 or pro-rated if between October 1, 2015 and August 31, 2016 your motor vehicle was sold, destroyed, stolen or registered out of state and NOT REPLACED with another vehicle using the same license plate.
In order to make an adjustment you must provide two forms of proof to the Assessor. In addition to a plate receipt from DMV, one of the following forms of proof may be used. Provide this information to the Assessor for adjustment by June 15th otherwise there may be interest due on adjustments after this time period.
If you still have the vehicle, it is still taxable. You are required by state statute to claim this as an unregistered vehicle on the personal property form that can be obtained in the Assessor's Office.
Q. What if I got a new vehicle and used the same plate?
If you transferred the plate from one vehicle to another, you do not have to do anything. The billing will follow the plate. If you did this after October 1, 2015, the bill that you receive in July 2016 will be on the old motor vehicle. In January 2017 you will receive a prorated tax bill on the new vehicle with a prorated credit from the old vehicle applied to the new vehicle.
Q. What if I have license plates that I am no longer using or have lost?
Any plates that are not being used should be returned to the DMV as soon as possible. Be sure to obtain a plate receipt and bring a copy to the Assessor's Office. If the plates are not returned, the DMV keeps them active for two or more years and sends the listing to us, creating another tax bill.
Q. What if I no longer live in Eastford, but still live in Connecticut and I receive a motor vehicle tax bill from Eastford?
You pay the July 2016 motor vehcle tax bill to the town you were residing in on October 1, 2015. If you did not change your address with DMV, please do so as soon as possible. The DMV sends your motor vehicle listing to the town that is on the address of your registration as of October 1, 2015. If the address is wrong, it will go to the wrong town and have to be transferred. We do not prorate bills between towns.
Q. What if I feel my property assessment is not accurate?
If you think your property assessment is not accurate you have the right to request the Assessor to review it. You also have the right to appeal your assessment to the Board of Assessment Appeals (BAA). The BAA meets in March. You must notify the BAA in writing by February 20th that you intend to appeal. Forms for this purpose are availabe form the Assessor's Office.
Q. What if I feel my vehicle assessment is not accurate?
First talk to the Assessor; if not satisfied, you may appeal in writing to the Board of Assessment Appeals in September. The BAA meeting dates will be September 9-10, 2016.
Q. Could I be eligible for any exemptions?
You may be eligible for one or more of the following exemptions:
Please contact the Assessor's Office at 860-974-1291 ext. 7 for more information.
Q. Are there any tax relief programs for senior citizens or for people who are on social security disability?
If you or your spouse are 65 years of age or older, or disabled and live in your own home, you may be eligible for a tax credit through the elderly/disabled low income homeowners program (Circuit Breaker Program). Call the Assessor's Office for more information.
Q. How is the tax rate established?
In May of each year, the budget is voted on by the taxpayers at the Annual Town Meeting. If passed, the mill rate is set immediately following the meeting. The property tax rate is expressed in mills or thousandths of a dollar. This year's tax rate (mill rate) 25.11 is equal to $25.11 per $1,000 of net assessed value.
Q. When is my payment considered late?
Payments due July 1, 2016 must be received or postmarked by August 1, 2016. Payments due January 1, 2017 must be received or postmarked by February 1, 2017. Delinquent motor vehicle bills must be paid for by cash, bank check, or money order.
Q. How is interest figured?
If not paid by the August or February deadline, interest is charged at the rate of 1 1/2% per month from July 1st and January 1st respectively, with a minimum of $2.00 per bill.
Example: To figure interest due, payment made in August use 3%; payment made September use 4 1/2%; payment made in October use 6% etc.
Real estate and personal property tax bills with two payments are only mailed in July.
The Real Estate and Personal Property tax bills have two payment slips attached. One is for July payment and one is for the January payment. Notices are put in the papers to remind you that the January payment is coming due. Make a note on the calendar also. If you purchase Real Estate after July and did not get a bill for the new property at the closing, please call for a copy of the bill for the January payment. No Real Estate or Personal Property bills are mailed in January.
Tax Payment Information needed for federal and state income tax returns.
Real estate taxes held in escrow by your bank or finance organization.
If your bank is holding escrow to pay your taxes, you may not receive a real estate tax bill. Many banks request the bills sent directly from our office. If you have escrow and receive a real estate bill, please forward it on to your bank for payment.
Q. What if I am missing a bill?
If you own property (real estate, motor vehicle or personal property) you owe tax. If you did not receive a tax bill, call the office for a duplicate bill. By Connecticut State Statute, failure to receive a bill does NOT relieve the taxpayer of the requirement to pay the tax or statutorily required interest on his late payment. Neither the Tax Collector nor the Assessor has the authority to waive interest on delinquent tax bills.
Please note that due to required separation of duties procedures, your tax payment check must go through three departments in the Town Office and, therefore, may take two to three weeks to clear your account.
The 2016-2017 budget for the Town of Eastford estimates $1,449,334 will be received from the State of Connecticut and various state financed programs. Without this assistance, your 2016-2017 tax bill would have been billed at 35.43 mills.