B y Jaime Thomas
Hebron residents might soon notice that someone’s looking at their properties with a critical eye.
That’s because the town is mulling over a reevaluation, which hasn’t been done in five years. Town supervisor Brian Campbell said the process is something the town usually undergoes when a new assessor is appointed, as was recently done with Victoria Hayner.
“At this time we believe it can be provided very cost effectively, and we believe our values need to change with the real estate market,” Campbell wrote on Hebron’s website.
He said a town has to do a reevaluation in order to reassess every house. A reassessment, on the other hand, is when the town takes all residences or land and raises or drops their values collectively by the same percentage.
Last year, Hebron did a reassessment, which dropped residence values by 10 percent and vacant land by 5 percent, but many properties were still at more than 100 percent of their value, Campbell said.
“We did it when it was the worst timing we could have had,” Campbell said. He said it’s useful for new assessors to perform a reevaluation so they have a better understanding of the program they are using.
“It should be under their jurisdiction; if they do a reevaluation under their terms, it’s easier to figure out where things belong,” Campbell said.
The assessor would aim to bring all properties to 100 percent of their value, and to match their numbers to what the state says they should be, Campbell said.
“It’s all about equality,” he said, “We wanted houses reassessed last year because they were over-valued.”
The only extra cost this process would bring to the town of Hebron is an extra stipend under Hayner and other consultant fees. This would add up to about $15,500 this year and a similar amount in 2014. It would not change this year’s budget either; it would only rearrange where certain funds are placed.
If the board does approve the vote to reevaluate next month, Campbell said it would be a two-year process. Hayner would spend this year collecting data, and next year she would assess the numbers, so residents wouldn’t see the first results until their 2014 school taxes.