Norwich prepares for property revaluation

Norwich - The state-mandated 2013 revaluation of taxable property in the city is under way, and Assessor Donna Ralston outlined the process city residents can expect in the coming months.

The city hired Vision Government Solutions Inc. for $238,300 to collect data for the residential and commercial properties for the 2013 revaluation. All new calculations are expected to be completed for the Oct. 1, 2013, grand list of taxable property.

"Everything is going to have a new value, all effective Oct. 1," Ralston said.

Not every property will be inspected in person by Vision Government Solutions crews, Ralston said.

All residential property owners can expect to receive a "Data Verification Form," which will include basic information that is currently on file in the assessor's office.

Homeowners are asked to update dwelling information, if necessary. Any major changes will trigger a follow-up inspection of the property to verify the information. In addition, Vision employees will attempt to inspect properties that recently have been sold, as well as those that have an active building permit.

New photographs of all properties will be taken.

All employees of the contractor will carry City of Norwich and Vision identification badges. Residents should request to see identification before granting permission for inspectors to enter their homes, Ralston said.

The Norwich Police Department will have photographs of all field personnel as well as vehicle registration information. Anyone who wishes to confirm the identity of Vision staff during work hours should contact the assessor's office at (860) 823-3723.

If a property owner denies entry to inspectors, an estimate of value will be determined based on the characteristics of similar properties in the area.

"It is in your best interest to allow the inspection and have the information verified and entered correctly," Ralston said.

To request a specific appointment for an inspection, call the Assessor's office at (860) 823-3723.

New assessments will not be available until at least November. Notices of new values will be mailed to all property owners. Upon receipt of the notice, property owners will have the opportunity to schedule an informational hearing with Vision to discuss any issues regarding the property assessment.

Additional information regarding the 2013 revaluation will be posted periodically on the city's website, www.norwichct.org. Taxpayer information is also available through Vision at www.vgsi.com and by clicking on taxpayer information.

c.bessette@theday.com

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