Residents sue Groton over taxes - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Residents sue Groton over taxes

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Residents in Groton are suing the town after they claimed officials unfairly raised property assessments to generate higher taxes.

All 620 properties in the Groton Long Point Association were assessed in 2011 by a firm hired by town officials.

However, 10 property owners are filing a class-action lawsuit because they feel the assessments are overrated, compared to other neighborhoods in town.

"The only problem I have is that it went up proportionately more here as if we were being singled out," said Pat Sparkman.

In some cases, the assessments are 35 percent higher than previous years, which forced residents to pay higher taxes.

"I've appealed every time there has been an assessment because I have never felt they approached it in a logical manner," said David Evans.

For example, one home on East Shore Road was assessed at $764,960, but in 2011, it was assessed at $851,130. The $86,000 difference raised the property owner's taxes by 10 percent.

"2011 reval was physical inspection and revaluation," said Groton Director of Finance Sal Pandolfo. "We hired Tyler Technologies to assist the Assessor with revaluation. They also did the reval in 2006 and 2001."

Town officials said they cannot publicly comment on the pending lawsuit. However, they said of 10,000 properties, only 9 percent increased in assessed value.

"So as markets change, markets fluctuate you capture that during the year of revaluation," said Mary Gardner.

The lawsuit seeks a court injunction that voids the 35 percent increase, which will lead to a reduction in the assessed values of the properties and a reimbursement to homeowners.

"It's a wonderful place to live but there's a limit to how much you can afford," said taxpayer Barbara Melanson.

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