With Montpelier assessments now below 85 percent of fair market value, on average, state rules require the city to conduct a real estate reappraisal. The city has retained the firm New England Municipal Consultants (NEMC) of Lyndonville, the same company that conducted the last reappraisal, to do the job.
Workers from NEMC will begin the reappraisal process later this year when they start visiting properties in Montpelier, according to City Assessor Steve Twombly. The company will attempt to conduct in-person appraisals of all properties, he said.
Property owners do not have to let inspectors into their buildings, but appraisers can make assumptions about a property’s interior based on the exterior, Twombly said. And if a property owner appeals their appraisal to the state, they are then required to let inspectors inside.
Residential property assessments are tied to recent sales, but commercial property assessments are based on income for the building, so commercial property owners will be asked to provide income and expense information. According to Twombly, state law allows the city to prevent commercial property owners from appealing their assessments if they do not comply.
Property inspections will continue through 2022, and the final valuation figures — meant to reflect April 1, 2023 values — will be released in the spring of 2023. Montpelier property owners will likely be mailed a booklet listing old and new values for all properties in town, and they will have the right to contest their new valuations.
The new assessments will be the basis for tax bills sent out in the summer of 2023, although a majority of Montpelier homeowners pay at least a portion of their property tax bills based on income, not solely on their home’s valuation.