Exemptions & Tax Credits
Public Act 490
Public Act 490 provides for the valuation of land that is used and classified as farm, forest or open space. When land is classified as farm land, forest land or open space, its assessment is based on its use value rather than on market value. The use values are recommended by the Office of Policy and Management and the Department of Agriculture and are updated every 5 years.
Qualifying for a Classification
- To qualify for classification of land as farm land, the land must actively be farmed and application must be made to the Assessor's Office.
- To qualify for classification of land as forest land, the land must consist of 25 contiguous acres of forest land, the land must be reported as forest land by a certified forester and application for the classification must be made to the Assessor's Office.
- To qualify for classification of land as open space, the designated open space must be undeveloped land in excess of 5 acres and must be located in zones RA, AA or A. Application must be made to the Assessor's Office.
The application period for Public Act 490 land is between September 1 and October 31 in a non-revaluation year. In a revaluation year, the application period is between September 1 and December 30.
Conveyance Tax Penalty
Because the intent of Public Act 490 is the preservation of Connecticut's farm, forest, and open space lands, once such lands are classified they become subject to a conveyance tax penalty upon a sale or change of use within a 10-year period.
About the Program
The Assessor's Office administers the State Homeowners Tax Relief Program. Under this program an elderly or totally disabled homeowner may be eligible for a tax credit for the property in which the resident resides. The amount of credit is based on a graduated income scale.
- An applicant or their spouse must be 65 or older by the end of the previous calendar year, or be 100% disabled (per Social Security Award Letter), or be 50 or older and be a surviving spouse of a recipient.
- Must reside as the owner (or have life use of the property) as of October 1 of the year before applying.
- Income requirements are updated annually. The 2019 total income must not exceed $37,000 if unmarried, or $45,100 for a married couple. Income is defined as adjusted gross income and tax exempt interest, social security benefits (SSA 1099) plus any other income not included in the adjusted gross income. These figures are subject to change for the 2020 Grand List.
- The application must be filed with the Assessor's Office between February 1 and May 15. Proof of income received in the previous calendar year must be provided. Following approval of the initial application by the Assessor, the applicant must refile biennially.
Applications are available in the Assessors Office.
A property tax exemption is a reduction in an approved applicant's real or motor vehicle property assessment that is administered by the Assessor of the town in which the applicant resides. Residency and property ownership must be established on or before the October 1 assessment date.
Tax Exemption for Blind Persons
State law provides for a $3,000 property tax exemption for property owners who are legally blind. Proof of blindness, a Certificate of Blindness from the State Board of Education and Services to the Blind, or a certification by a qualified medical doctor, must be submitted to the Assessor's Office by October 1. Once satisfactory proof of blindness has been filed, the resident becomes permanently eligible for this exemption and does not need to file in subsequent years.
Social Security Disability Exemption
Residents under the age of 65 on Social Security Disability are eligible for a $1,000 assessment exemption. Qualifying applicants must file his or her Social Security Administration disability document (award letter) with the Assessor's Office by October 1 along with the Totally Disabled Application.
MV Tax Exemption for Persons with Disabilities
Any owner of a motor vehicle that has been specially equipped to accommodate a driver or passenger with a disability may be eligible for this exemption. To be eligible, the vehicle must be inspected and approved by the Assessor. This exemption abates the motor vehicle tax in full.
Tax Exemptions for Veterans
Honorably discharged veterans who served in wartime may be eligible for a $6,000 exemption to be applied toward their real estate or motor vehicle assessments. Proof of military service (DD214 Discharge Papers) must be filed with the Town Clerk's Office prior to the October 1 Grand List date to get the exemption on that list.
A disabled veteran who qualifies for the basic veteran's exemption may receive an additional exemption. To qualify, the veteran must initially submit their Department of Veterans Affairs form showing the percentage of disability to the Assessor's Office by March 31. This document will only be required in subsequent years if the percent of disability changes.
Additional Veteran's Exemption (Income Eligible)
Qualifying veterans may receive additional exemption benefits. The application must be filed with the Assessor's Office between February 1 and October 1. Proof of income received in the previous calendar year (2019) must be provided. Following approval of the initial application by the Assessor, the applicant must file biennially. The maximum income limit for the 2019 Grand List is $45,100 for a married person and $37,000 for a single person.
An active member of the armed forces may be eligible to have one motor vehicle exempt from property tax. To qualify, the individual must submit an annual In-Service Exemption Form signed by his/her commanding officer. The signed Active Duty Military Motor Vehicle Property Tax Exemption Form must be filed with us prior to December 31, next, following the tax due date.
Tax Exemption For Farm Buildings
Applications are available in the Assessor's Office. Please contact the office for more information.