April 18, 2014

Essex Property Values Drop With 2013 Revaluation

ESSEX— The assessed value of most properties in town has declined in the recently completed townwide revaluation, the first comprehensive update of values since the onset of the national recession in 2008.

Assessor Jessice Sypher said earlier this week most, but not all, of the town’s 2,918 residential property accounts, including undeveloped land, show a decline in assessed value .”It depends a lot on the location,” Sypher said, noting that property values in many neighborhoods held steady, or actually show an increase in assessed value based on recent sales. New assessments were mailed to most property owners in late November.

Sypher said values in and around the downtown Essex village held steady, while some properties in the northern sections of Essex off River Road showed higher assessed values. She said many properties around the Mill Pond of the Falls River in Ivoryton showed higher assessed values. Sypher said the town’s 307 commercial and industrial properties showed an average six percent drop in assessed value from the 2008 assessments.

The revaluation was done by Vision Appraisal Government Solutions of Northboro, Mass., the same firm that handled the last full townwide revaluation with on site inspections in 2003, and the statistical revaluation update that was done in 2008.

Sypher, who has served as Essex assessor for more than a decade, said she is anticipating a seven to ten percent drop in the town’s grand list of taxable property. A drop in that range would be comparable to what occurred in Deep River, when the town’s grand list decreased by eight percent after a revaluation that was completed in 2010.

Sypher said the 2013 grand list would be filed on schedule on Jan. 31, without the need for a 30 days extension that is sometimes requested after a revaluation.

Sypher said some residents have requested informal hearings with Vision Appraisal representatives on their new assessments, though there has been no influx of complaints to her office since the new assessments were mailed. “lt has been more questions than complaints,” she said.

Property owners who believe their new assessments are incorrect can request formal hearings with the town’s elected board of assessment appeals. The 2013 grand list will be used to set a tax rate for 2014-2015 after town and school budgets are adopted next year.