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We’re hearing from some folks that their automobile tax assessment has risen despite car values traditionally dropping from one year to the next. I checked into it and found that this is not an easy problem to solve because it’s all based on state law.
The state requires towns to use the NADA Official Used Car Guide (Eastern Edition) – Clean Retail (which is the highest value for the car). This is not a determination made by the town. It is required by state law that vehicles be valued this way.
From the Office of Policy and Management: “These schedules reflect the 100% average retail price/”Clean Retail Value” of motor vehicles for the current assessment year and are recommended for use in the preparation of the 2018 Grand List.”
Similarly, the Appeal dates are set by the state, so taxes have to be paid by August 1, but you can’t appeal until September. If the appeal results in a lower valuation, you can get a credit or a refund for that year. Unfortunately, this has to happen every year, as the state does not allow us to carry adjusted values forward.
Tom BanischFirst SelectmanTown of Madison