Property Taxes: The Basics

Property taxes in the Town of Greenwich are ad valorum, or value add.  The Assessor’s office determines market value each year as of October 1st and then calculates assessed value as 70% of market value.  By state law, every real estate property is revalued at least every five years.  The most recent town revaluation was in 2015.  Revaluations may occur within a year due to (a) new construction, (b) splits, (c) mergers, (d) demolition or (e) change in use.  New construction includes ground up new construction, additions and extensive renovations.  Depending on the degree of renovation, a new valuation may or may not be warranted at the time a certificate of occupancy is issed, as determined by the town appraiser.

Taxes due are determined using a mill rate, or one thousandth of one percent of the assessed value.  Mill rates are determined in May of each year.  As of this post, current mill rates are 11.369 for homes with septic fields and 12.018 for homes serves by public sewer.  As an example, a home valued at $2,000,000 would have an assessed value of $1,400,000.  If on sewer, the property taxes due would be $1,400,000 x .01218 = $16,825 / year.  Waterfront properties incur an additional tax based on lineal feet of waterfront.  Some properties may be subject to additional taxes based on their association or neighborhood to reflect additional services.  Property taxes are billed July 1st (due August 1st) and January 1st (due February 1st).

Personal Note

When we moved from Westchester County to Greenwich we were enticed by the lower taxes.  Property taxes were half the amount of an equivalent property where we lived in Westchester.  We had to pay more for an equivalent house, which makes sense.  There is a reason Greenwich attracts so many of the financial savvy and the well to do.  We would much rather invest in a hard asset than write a large check for taxes.  Thanks to the format and sophistication of the Greenwich town government, we have many more services in Greenwich than we did in Westchester, and in the lean years we are particularly glad we are writing a smaller check.

Mary Stuart
20 years professional real estate advice.
Mary Stuart G Freydberg, Sotheby's International Realty

Call me with your real estate questions today!

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