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Thursday, September 18, 2014

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Inspections for property revaluation start next week

Published 11:24 am, Friday, August 29, 2014
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Vision Government Solutions, the firm hired by the town to conduct a revaluation of all taxable properties in town, will begin visiting homes to collect data the week of Sept. 1, according to Assessor Paul Friia.

The inspection process for all residential properties is expected to continue through next summer.

Every 10 years, the state mandates that the town perform a physical property revaluation that includes physical inspections of each parcel of real estate.

The purpose of the revaluation program is to develop accurate and uniform assessments based on fair-market value as of Oct. 1, 2015. This, in turn, will generate an equitable tax base in town, Friia said.

He said data collectors will carry photo identification and a letter of introduction from the Assessor's office. Their cars will be registered with the Police Department and will be clearly marked: "Assessor's Office, Police Department registered vehicle," and display the Vision Government Solutions logo, he added.

"Homeowners should request proper identification before granting anyone permission to enter their home," Friia said.

Inspectors will visit residential properties to physically inspect the interior and verify the measurement of the building exterior. Building characteristics such as location, size, age, quality of construction, improvements, topography, utilities and applicable zoning restrictions will be noted.

This process takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes, and homeowners will be asked to sign a data collection form to verify that the inspection has taken place. If no one is at home, the inspector will measure the exterior of the home and stop back at another time to request an interior inspection.

"While it is not mandatory for residents to allow inspectors interior access, since the data they are collecting is vitally important to the accuracy and uniformity of the assessments, homeowners' cooperation is greatly appreciated," First Selectman Jim Marpe said in a statement announcing the start of inspections.

The Assessor's office will be sending introduction letters to property owners to alert them ahead of the inspectors' arrival to work in their neighborhoods.

For additional information, visit the town's website, www.westportct.gov. For more information regarding property revaluation and any questions, contact the Assessor's office at 203-341-1070.