Revaluation is finding changes down and up

The town’s revaluation is finding house value changes both up and down, Assessor Al Garzi said, explaining that the new numbers have a basis in sales prices of similar properties.

“There were a tremendous amount of sales over the last 18 months,” Garzi said Wednesday, Dec. 20. “May, June, July, August of 2017, we averaged $40 million a month. … It’s a good indication.

“The center of town, which is a pretty big area, was strong,” the assessor said.

Value changes can be based on other factors as well.

“If somebody’s assessment went up and their area didn’t increase, we’re finding in most of the cases the assessment in 2012 was less than the market value at the time, and we had sales in the area to substantiate the new number,” Garzi said.

The town is nearing completion of a state-required revaluation of property assessments that mostly date back to 2012, and people with questions or concerns can get informal hearings with eQuality Valuation — the revaluation company that has been assisting Garzi’s office with the massive undertaking.

Hearings, conducted by appointment at the Recreation Center, are continuing through Dec. 29. Appointments may be made online at or by calling 1-800-673-6818.

“People can always call us,” Garzi added. “You don’t need a hearing to call the assessor’s office and ask about it, talk about it.

“Some people have said people might think the entire market is deflated. There are strong areas, and pockets of properties that are pretty active, like the center of town, and price ranges of properties between $300,000 and $900,000 are pretty strong,” Garzi said.

“And then, anything beyond that price range, if the property has been updated — remodeled — then you’re really not seeing a decline in the overall value,” he said. “Financially, it’s going to hold its own in terms of market value.”

The revaluation is a process that is meant to lead to adjustments.

“As we went on, and saw the sales in 2012, it became apparent that some properties had a higher assessment than they should, some had a lower assessment than they should, and some had the accurate assessment. Taking that into consideration is going to be a big factor in how they work out now,” Garzi said.

“We’re going by sales, today — and there’s a lot of sales.”