• Lien Can Be Filed During a Tax Appeal
  • February 19, 2015 | Author: Gregory F. Servodidio
  • Law Firm: Pullman & Comley, LLC - Hartford Office
  • It is fairly well known that once you file a Connecticut tax appeal of a property with an appraised value of $1 million or more, the appellant may limit its tax payment to 90 percent of the amount which otherwise would be due while the action is pending. In a case in which the owner exercised that option, the tax collector filed a certificate of continuing tax lien against the property. “Dirty pool!” the owner argued in the Superior Court for the Judicial District of Middlesex because the law affording it the ability to pay only 90 percent of the amount due, it claimed, precludes the tax collector from taking collection action.

    Judge Edward S. Domnarski held that the property owner’s interpretation of the relevant statute was far too broad. The mere filing of a tax lien does not amount to collection action so as to incur the bite of the statutory prohibition. Under the tax collection laws, it was necessary for the tax collector to file a certificate of continuing lien in order to maintain the existence of the automatic tax lien which was created by the owner’s less than full payment. The automatic lien expires two years after the taxes become due unless an enforcement action is commenced. Judge Domnarski ruled that the lien simply protected the town’s interests.

    Parenthetically, Pullman & Comley property valuation attorneys do not suggest that their clients exercise this payment deferral option due to the 18 percent annual interest charge that the tax collector is required to collect on the deferred portion - if the tax appeal is not successful.

    Touchstone Development Associates LLC v. Town of Haddam (2013).