Your taxes are a critical expense of your property's cash flow. Is your assessment fair and equitable? REVIEW & Look at your assessment figures TODAY.

Every year before February 20th in every community in Connecticut a property owner should consider deciding whether or not their property- be it a personal residence, multi-family or other investment properties might be over-assessed and, thus the tax bill might be too high.

Refer to my last year's winter article about this process to understand what you need to do methodologically to go about having some relief on your taxes. Review and figure out if it is worth the effort, time, and $ to pursue.

Did the Assessment process as of October of last year properly "assess" your property - was it treated objectively and fairly and were there any mistakes listed on the building amenities, square footage, usable or net square footage?

Did a new Revaluation occur which is required every 5 years in each CT community? It's always best to start the process at the beginning of the new 5-year cycle. For instance, 38 of the 169 cities & towns had an October new "mass" assessment revaluation. Did your figures go up too much since the last revaluation which may or may not be realistic? Check it out thoroughly now.

Don't delay. Start the process now. Go talk to your Assessor and the office that puts together the Assessment numbers and ask specific questions as to where, how, and why they "picked" the numbers. And most importantly FILE a 1-page piece of paper before the February 20th deadline to protect your rights.

Next time- how to go about the assessment challenge

*Ad valorem tax-1.a tax levied in proportion to the value of the property being taxed (USPAP) 2. A tax levied in proportion to the value of the thing(s) being taxed; generally refers only to property taxes, although technically the term is applicable to income taxes, ad valorem tariffs, special property taxes, etc... Exclusive of exemptions, use-value assessment provisions, and the like, the property tax is an ad valorem tax.

Editor's Note: Marc Gottesdiener, an appraiser involved in real estate licensed since 1977 & has worked as a litigation consultant and expert witness since the early 1990s. Read his advice for expanding your practice into non-lender work as a consultant and expert witness.