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Town Departments > Assessor > General FAQ > Assessor's Frequently Asked Questions 

Assessor's FAQ

Q. How is the tax rate established?

A. The tax rate is established by the Board of Finance and the Representative Town Meeting.  It is determined after the budget for the following fiscal year is finalized.  The budget figure is then divided by the preceding Net Grand List, which results in the applicable tax, or Mill Rate.The property tax rate is expressed in mills or thousandths of a dollar. A tax rate (mill rate) of 23.94 is equivalent to $23.94 of taxes per $1,000 of net assessed value.  A new rate will be set in May , following the approval of the town budget.

Q. What do I own that is subject to taxes?

A. Three types of properties are assessed and subject to taxes:

  1. Real Estate:  Any land or buildings (including mobile homes) you own fall under the category of Real Estate.

  2. Motor Vehicle:  Registered, motorized or un-motorized vehicles (such   as cars, trucks, motorcycles and trailers) are considered motor vehicles for tax purposes.

  3. Personal Property:  Machinery, equipment, furniture and fixtures, either owned or leased by business and industry; unregistered motor vehicles and other chattels comprise this category.

Q. How does the Town determine motor vehicle values?

A.  Standard price guidelines (NADA) recommended by the State Office of Policy and Management are used in determining the average retail value of your motor vehicles as of October 1st of any tax year

Q. What if I think my assessment is not accurate?

A. You have the right to appeal to the Board of Assessment Appeals.  The Board meets to review and adjust tax assessments during the month of March for Real Estate, Personal Property and Supplemental Motor Vehicles.  In September the board meets for Motor Vehicles appearing on the preceding October 1st.  Applications must be filed for the March session between February 1st and 20th.  Applications must be filed in early September for Motors Vehicles. (See Board of Assessment Appeals Web Site).

Q. What if I no longer own the motor vehicle that I am being taxed for?

A. If the motor vehicle was owned on October 1, 2003 for example, it is taxable. However, if the vehicle was sold, stolen, totally destroyed or became registered in another State a tax adjustment may be applicable, required forms of proof are as follows:

  1. PLATE RECEIPT from the DMV indicating that the registration has been CANCELLED, LOST or STOLEN.

  2. Any of the following in ADDITION TO # 1

    • A copy of the bill of sale - (located on the bottom of the registration).

    • A copy of the transfer of title - (signed).

    • Out of State registration - (date the vehicle was registered outside the State of Connecticut.

    • Stolen Vehicle – a statement from the insurance company indicating that the vehicle was stolen & NOT RECOVERED.

    • Totaled Vehicle – a statement from the insurance company indicating that the vehicle was a total loss.

    • Junked Vehicle – a notarized receipt from the junkyard.

    • Trade-in Vehicle – A copy of a purchase agreement.

NOTE: All information must be DATED and the VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER must be on all documentation. Forward to the Assessor’s Office, 1019 Main Street, Branford, CT 06405

Q. Could I be eligible for any exemptions?

A. Yes, you may be eligible for any of the following exemptions:

  • Veterans having served 90 days or more during time of wars & conflicts. (See attached list)

  • Veterans with a disability.

  • Spouse of a deceased veteran.

  • Legally Blind, as certified by a physician.

  • Exemptions for Active Duty Servicemen.

    1. United States Army Instructors.

    2. Active Duty Serviceman with a Motor Vehicle garaged out of State.

    3. Federal Soldier’s and Sailor’s Civil Relief Act.

  • Farm or Forest assessments.

  • 100% Social Security Disabled.

Please contact the Assessor’s Office for more information and see some of the guidelines below.

Q.  Are there any tax relief programs for senior citizens?

A. If you or your spouse are 65 years of age or older, or disabled and live in your own home, you may be eligible for a tax benefit through the elderly/ 100% disabled low income /homeowners program.

  • You must apply February 1st through May 15th to be eligible for the Homeowner’s Program, which will reflect your July tax bill of that year.

  • You may contact the Senior Center for low income/disabled renters program

  • You may contact the Tax Office for the Elderly Deferral Program.

Town Hall Address: 1019 Main Street, Branford, CT 06405 Phone: (203) 488-8394 Business Hours: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday