Morris loses $250,000 in tax revenue after properties were impro - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Morris loses $250,000 in tax revenue after properties were improperly assessed

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It’s a property tax nightmare after at least 20 properties in Morris were assessed improperly. (WFSB) It’s a property tax nightmare after at least 20 properties in Morris were assessed improperly. (WFSB)
MORRIS, CT (WFSB) -

It’s a property tax nightmare after at least 20 properties in Morris were assessed improperly.

The town assessor is taking the heat and has now been fired because of this. On Wednesday, the Board of Selectman voted 2-1 to terminate Michele DaSilva. The vote came after a three-week long investigation.

Some people paid too much in property taxes, and some unknowingly didn’t pay enough, but the brutal reality is every taxpayer in Morris is affected by an error in real estate property assessments.

"Well, in a town like this we're pretty small so for a majority of everybody to have a full effect in the property tax is pretty outrageous,” said Matthew Yoelson, of Morris.

The investigation revealed that at least 20 properties were improperly assessed, equaling more than $250,000 in lost tax revenue.

Others paid taxes on an inflated mill rate to make up the deficit.

First Selectman Tom Weik said “It is unfortunate we have been placed in this situation. The amount of errors in property assessments and the large number of structures that are missing entirely from the Grand List reveals that either the reevaluation conducted by DaSilva was not done, or it was done incorrectly.”

However, DaSilva’s attorney said his client’s firing is unjust and blames what he calls “town hall’s systematic attack against female employees and union activists.”

"The town never went to Michele and said ‘hey we found these errors what can we do to fix them?’ They just started an investigation and moved to fire her,” said Attorney Eric Brown.

The first selectman said the town will be doing a full reevaluation of all of the properties in Morris. Those who overpaid will likely never see that money back. Those who didn’t pay enough will get a bill in the mail.

Town officials said there actually could be errors at another 50 to 80 properties. They will be looking at that over the next few weeks.

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