Lauretti: Shelton property value hikes will mean lower mill rate

Photo of Brian Gioiele
Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti waves to crowds on the Derby-Shelton bridge during the Derby-Shelton Memorial Day Parade on May 31 2021.

Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti waves to crowds on the Derby-Shelton bridge during the Derby-Shelton Memorial Day Parade on May 31 2021.

Jason Edwards / For Hearst Connecticut Media

Property revaluation notices are out — and many residents are feeling the sticker shock of major jumps in their home assessments.

Coinciding with the boom in housing prices during the pandemic, some residents have seen the assessed values of their homes jump anywhere from 25 to more than 40 percent. But Mayor Mark Lauretti says with this hike a reduction will come in the coming year’s mill rate.

“There is no need for anyone to panic … you’re in good hands,” Lauretti said referring to those paying property taxes in the city.

Municipal Valuation Services, LLC handled the revaluations. The resulting figures are based on 70 percent of the market value as of Oct. 1, 2021.

Lauretti, who has overseen similar revaluations in his three decades in office, said residents may see minimal increases in their local property taxes, and some may see no increase at all.

The 2022-23 budget process begins in full in January, so no numbers are close to being finalized, but Lauretti said residents should expect a mill rate decrease. The city’s mill rate sits at 22.03, which was a slight reduction from the previous fiscal year.

“Based on past performance, past history, the mill rate may end up about 18 … but I can see it somewhere between 16 and 17,” Lauretti said. “It’s been that low before.”

Property assessments are done every five years according to State of Connecticut law. The revaluations allow for all 169 municipalities in Connecticut to set the value of all property within their borders.

Longtime Alderman Anthony Simonetti, who himself has lived through these revaluations as a property owner and city official, says the values are established by a company who is hired to do “a fair and unbiased assessment of all properties.

“These new values form the basis upon which the next (2022-23) mill rate is applied,” Simonetti said.

The mill rate is only applied to 70 percent of the property’s fair market value.

“No one can predict the future but based on past history, increases in property values do not necessarily result in a tax increase,” Simonetti said. “Conversely, assessed property value decreases do not necessarily result in tax reductions.”

Lauretti said the revaluation process allows all property owners — residential and commercial alike — to be treated fairly.

Property owners who question the reassessment can request an informal hearing with the revaluation company at www.

munival.com/appointments. Property owners need to request the appointment within seven days of receiving the revaluation notice letter. Appointments will be held between Dec. 14 and Dec. 23.

“I have received complaints … and I tell people to take a deep breath, calm down,” Lauretti said. “My house went up $90,000, and I’m not worried about it. People who have lived here and know how I do things know there is a level of comfort. For most of the past 10 years, the mill rate has been left alone or lowered.”

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com