Tax Collection Information
Connecticut’s Property Tax Framework
There are 169 cities and towns in Connecticut. Each provides various services, such as:
- Police and fire protection
- Public road maintenance
- Public school education
To a large extent, the property tax finances these services. Connecticut State Law authorizes the taxation of property, including:
- Business-owned personal property
- Motor vehicles
- Personal property
- Real estate
State Law Authorizations
Local governmental officials administer the property assessment and taxation. State law governs the manner in which a town or city assessor determines property assessments and the procedures that tax collectors use to collect property taxes. State law also authorizes property tax exemptions, credits and abatements.
Some cities and towns contain specific taxing districts, such as fire districts, that provide services that the city or town does not provide. The assessment of property that a city or town assessor determines is the basis for the tax that a district collects. The Town of Enfield has 5 fire districts:
- Enfield Fire District
- Hazardville Fire District
- North Thompsonville Fire District
- Shaker Pines Fire District
- Thompsonville Fire District
Thompsonville Fire Department is the only full-time, non volunteer fire department in Enfield. The Town of Enfield collects the fire district taxes with regular town taxes. If you are paying 2 installments on real estate or personal property, the fire district tax is due in full with the 1st installment of the town tax.
In Connecticut, the assessment date is October 1 (Chapter 203 - Sec. 12-62a). Ownership of property on an assessment date makes a taxpayer liable for property taxes, unless the property is exempt from taxation. Certain property of non-residents may also be subject to taxation if located in Connecticut for a period of time prior to an assessment date (Chapter 203 - Sec. 12-43).
The grand list is a record of all taxable and tax exempt property in a taxing jurisdiction as of the assessment date. Assessors generally file the grand list by the end of January, but some may do so by the end of February. If the assessment of real estate or personal property other than a motor vehicle increases from one assessment date to the next, an assessor must send an increase notice to the affected taxpayer (Chapter 203 - Sec. 12-55).
A taxpayer who disagrees with an assessor’s determination regarding an assessment has the right to submit a written request for a hearing to a local board of assessment appeals (Chapter 203 - Sec. 12-111). The date for submitting a hearing request is either February 20 or March 20, depending on when the grand list is completed - hearings occur in March or April. Boards of assessment appeals also meet at least once during the month of September to hear appeals related to motor vehicle assessments (Chapter 203 - Sec. 12-112).
A taxpayer must appear at a hearing before the board of assessment appeals, or must ensure that someone appears on the taxpayer’s behalf (Chapter 203 - Sec. 12-113). If a taxpayer disagrees with a determination of a board of assessment appeals, the taxpayer may file an appeal with the superior court for the judicial district in which the property is located (Chapter 203 - Sec. 12-117a).
After the board of assessment appeals finalizes determinations for hearings held in March or April, a taxing jurisdiction determines the amount of property tax revenue that it will need for the upcoming fiscal year and sets a mill rate. Multiplying the mill rate (the basis for which is a thousandth of a dollar) by a property’s net assessment results in the property tax. The net assessment of a property is the assessment minus all exemptions for which a taxpayer qualifies.
Although a taxpayer establishes a property tax liability as of October 1, a tax collector does not mail a tax bill for that liability until the following June. A tax collector may mail a tax bill even later if there is a delay in establishing the mill rate. Also, tax collectors do not mail tax bills for some motor vehicles until the following January. While state law requires tax collectors to mail tax bills, it also specifies that a tax collector’s failure to do so does not invalidate the tax (Chapter 204 - Sec. 12-130).
Payments & Interest
Local jurisdictions determine whether property taxes are due in 1 or more installments. State law provides a 30-day grace period for a property tax payment (Chapter 204 - Sec. 12-142). If a taxpayer pays a tax after the 30 day grace period, the payment is delinquent. Enfield requires that motor vehicle taxes are due in 1 installment, July 1. Real estate and personal property bills may be paid in 2 installments if the total town tax is $100 or more.
Delinquent Tax Interest
State law requires tax collectors to add interest at the rate of 1 1/2% per month or any portion of a month, to a delinquent tax bill (Chapter 204 - Sec. 12-145). For example, a tax due July 1 is payable on or before August 1. If the tax is paid August 2, interest equals 3% (1 1/2% for July and 1 1/2% for August).
Interest becomes part of the property tax when a tax collector imposes it. Tax collectors cannot accept a partial payment of a delinquent tax that is less than the total of the accrued interest on the principal of the tax. Each payment reduces the interest before reducing the principal (Chapter 204 - Sec. 12-145).
Outstanding Property Taxes
Tax collectors may issue tax warrants to collect outstanding property taxes (Chapter 204 - Sec. 12-135). This allows the tax collector or State Marshall or Constable to take further action to collect taxes. The tax collector may initiate foreclosure proceedings with regard to delinquent real estate taxes (Chapter 204 - Sec. 12-157). They may report taxpayers who are delinquent in paying motor vehicle property taxes to the Department of Motor Vehicles, in which case the taxpayer cannot obtain a registration or registration renewal without providing proof of payment of the outstanding tax. Municipalities may also use other means to collect taxes that are delinquent.
State law allows for the collection of property taxes within 15 years after a tax due date (Chapter 204 - Sec. 12-164).