• Statute of Limitations Issue Resolved
  • July 10, 2015 | Author: Gregory F. Servodidio
  • Law Firm: Pullman & Comley, LLC - Hartford Office
  • Connecticut tax appeal procedure offers the possibility of two avenues for challenging the ad valorem valuation of real estate. The first contemplates a Superior Court appeal within two months after action by a municipal Board of Assessment Appeals is deemed inadequate by the property owner. The property owner’s burden of proof in this case is to prove overvaluation.

    A second and less well known option permits appeals in cases in which the property owner has not filed a board petition. The burden of proof here requires the property owner to establish that the assessment was “manifestly excessive” and could not have been arrived at except by disregarding “the assessor’s duties . . . .”

    Frederick Cornelius filed a tax appeal under the second statute. The time limitation for exercising rights under this law is “one year from the date as of which the property was last evaluated for purposes of taxation. . . .” Mr. Cornelius challenged the value of his property as of October 1, 2011, on February 4, 2013. The Town of Farmington sought the dismissal of this case on the basis that it should have been filed by September 30, 2012.

    Notwithstanding the owner’s reference to various duties imposed on the assessor after October 1, 2011, with regard to that assessment year’s Grand List, the Superior Court held firm to the clear statutory language; it ruled that Mr. Cornelius was more than five months late with his appeal. In doing so, the Superior Court referred to a 1999 Connecticut Supreme Court decision which noted the requirement of sound public policy that “taxes that have not been challenged timely, cannot be the subject of perpetual litigation, at any time, to suit the convenience of the taxpayer. . . .”

    Cornelius v. Arnold, Docket Number CV-13-5015763-S, Superior Court, J.D. of New Britain, at New Britain (January 30, 2015)