November 21, 2018

Essex Selectmen Pick Vision Appraisal for Full Town-wide Property Revaluation in 2013

ESSEX—  The board of selectmen has picked Vision Appraisal of Northboro, Mass. for a full town-wide property revaluation in 2013 that is expected to result in a steep drop in the grand list of taxable property.

Assessor Jessica Graves recommended Vision Appraisal of the two qualified firms that submitted proposals for the state mandated revaluation. The Vision Appraisal price was $139,800, while a bid from Tyler Technologies of Norwich was $169,800. Graves said a third bid, which was slightly lower, was disqualified for various reasons, including inaccurate references.

Selectmen approved hiring Vision Appraisal at a meeting Wednesday The town has about $240,000 set aside in a sinking fund to pay for the revaluation.

Vision Appraisal performed the last full revaluation in 2003, and the statistical revaluation update that was completed in 2008. State law requires cities and towns to complete a full revaluation, with physical inspections of the interior and exterior of all residential, commercial and industrial properties, every ten years. A revaluation update must be done every five years.

Graves, who has served as the Essex assessor for nearly a decade, acknowledged the 2013 revaluation would reflect the sharp decline in property values that has occurred in the wake of the national economic recession that began in 2008. Graves recalled the result in neighboring Deep River, where a full town-wide revaluation completed in 2010 resulted in an eight percent drop in the town’s grand list. The 2010 revaluation in Deep River was also done by Vision Appraisal.

Graves said home sales in Essex have picked up in recent months, though most sales show a drop in prices and property values from sales that were recorded before 2008. Graves said a drop in the grand list is likely, though the extent of the decrease would not be clear until the revaluation is completed.

New property assessments will be part of the October 2013 grand list that is filed early in 2014, with the new values reflected in the July 2014 property tax bills. Inspections of properties are expected to begin in the spring of 2013.

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