The mission of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is to serve the interests of justice and the public by resolving matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.

Property Law Supreme Court Opinion

by Zigadto, Janet


SC20019 - Tuohy v. Groton (Property tax appeal; "In this appeal, we consider whether a municipality's assessor may apply a uniform adjustment factor to a neighborhood's appraised property values during the mass appraisal process for the revaluation of real property pursuant to General Statutes 12-62 (b), as a direct equalization measure in order to ensure that neighborhood is not undertaxed relative to others in the municipality. The plaintiffs, John P. Tuohy and numerous other owners of real property located in the Groton Long Point neighborhood, brought this class action tax appeal pursuant to General Statutes 12-119 against the defendants, the town of Groton (town) and Mary Gardner, its assessor, challenging the assessed value of their properties following the revaluation conducted by the town for its October 1, 2011 grand list (2011 revaluation). The plaintiffs now appeal from the judgment in favor of the defendants, rendered after a trial to the court, upholding the legality of those assessments. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court incorrectly determined that their assessments were not manifestly excessive because the defendants violated 12-62 and numerous provisions of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies (regulations) promulgated by the state Office of Policy and Management (OPM); see Regs., Conn. State Agencies 12-62i-1 et seq.; when they applied a flat, undifferentiated adjustment factor that increased the assessed value of all properties in Groton Long Point by 35 percent without individualized consideration of the unique characteristics of each property. We conclude that the defendants properly applied an adjustment factor as a direct equalization measure in connection with an assessment to sales ratio study conducted pursuant to various standards promulgated by the International Association of Assessing Officers (international association) in order to ensure that Groton Long Point bore its fair share of the town's municipal tax burden relative to the town's other neighborhoods. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")