Taxes Due

Tax Collector’s Legal Notice

All persons liable for the payment of taxes to the Town of Prospect are hereby notified that the first installment for the Grand List of October 1, 2020 Real Estate and Personal Property and the entire bill on Motor Vehicles are due July 1, 2021, payable on or before August 2, 2021.  Per Connecticut General Statute 12-146 any portion of this installment remaining unpaid after August 2, 2021 is subject to interest at the rate of 18% per year (1 ½% per month) from the due date of July 1, 2021 until paid with a minimum interest fee of $2.00 (P.A. #73-494).  Payment of taxes may be made at the Office of the Tax Collector, 36 Center Street, Prospect, CT, by drop box located at the rear entrance of the Prospect Town Hall, by mail, online at www.townofprospect.org or by phone at 844-953-0667. (This notice will be published in the Republican American on June 24, 2021, July 6, 2021 and July 23, 2021 in accordance with CT State Statute 12-145)

 

Current Grand List: October 1, 2020                       Current Mill Rate: 32.30 mills

Due Dates for Property Taxes:

Real Estate 1st Installment: due July 1, 2021, last day to pay without penalty is August 2, 2021 (3% interest is charged for payments made August 3, 2021 – August 31, 2021)

Personal Property 1st Installment: due July 1, 2021, last day to pay without penalty is August 2, 2021 (3% interest is charged for payments made August 3, 2021 – August 31, 2021)

Motor Vehicle: due July 1, 2021, last day to pay without penalty is August 2, 2021 (3% interest is charged for payments made August 3, 2021 – August 31, 2021)

Supplemental Motor Vehicle: due January 1, 2022, last day to pay without penalty is February 1, 2022 (3% interest is charged for payments made February 2, 2022 – February 28, 2022)

Real Estate 2nd Installment: due January 1, 2022, last day to pay without penalty is February 1, 2022 (3% interest is charged for payments made February 2, 2022 – February 28, 2022)

Personal Property 2nd Installment: due January 1, 2022, last day to pay without penalty is February 1, 2022 (3% interest is charged for payments made February 2, 2022 – February 28, 2022)

     PLEASE REMEMBER WE DO NOT MAIL ANOTHER BILL FOR THE 2ND INSTALLMENT.

Real Estate Taxation

Real estate is all land and all improvements (such as buildings, fences, and paved driveways), as well as easements to use air space (Chapter 203 - Sec. 12-64).

With the exception of certain classified land, the assessment of each parcel of real property represents 70% of its estimated fair market value as of the date of a revaluation (Chapter 203 - Sec. 12-62, Sec. 12-62a and Sec. 12-63).  Assessors value classified farm, forest, open space and maritime heritage on the basis of use, rather than on a fair market value basis (Chapter 203 - Sec. 12-107b through Sec. 12-107f and Public Act 07-127).

When a revaluation occurs, an assessor establishes the current fair market value of all real estate, in order to equalize the tax burden among property owners.   While assessors must revalue all real estate not later than five years after the October 1 effective date of the previous revaluation, they may revalue real estate more often than once every five years (Chapter 203 - Sec. 12-55 and Sec. 12-62).

Before a revaluation becomes effective, taxpayers may receive questionnaires so that they may verify information concerning their properties. At least once in every 10 assessment years, an assessor (or an assessor’s designee) may request a taxpayer’s permission to enter a building in order to verify its condition, and other information the assessor needs, to establish its fair market value (Chapter 203 - Sec. 12-63). State law also imposes reporting requirements that affect owners of certain income-producing real estate in conjunction with revaluations (Chapter 203 - Sec. 12-63c).

Upon the completion of new construction (including building additions) in any year after the effective date of a revaluation, a taxpayer’s property assessment increases.  The increase represents the portion of an assessment year during which the newly constructed improvement may be used for its intended purpose (Chapter 203 - Sec. 12-53a). Under certain circumstances, a real estate assessment reduction may occur during an assessment due to the demolition of a building (Chapter 203 - Sec. 12-64a).

In Prospect, real estate tax bills that are $100.00 or more may be paid in two installments that become due July 1st and January 1st and are payable on or before August 1st and February 1st.

An inchoate or unrecorded lien exists on each property from the assessment date of October 1st annually.  A Certificate of Continuing Lien is filed annually on June 1st by the Tax Collector in the Town Clerk’s office and recorded in the land records for any property which has delinquent taxes for the current grand list year.

Any real estate property owner who owes a tax balance on more than two Grand List years or an amount of $10,000.00 or more will be turned over to the Marshal by means of an Alias Tax Warrant for collection and/or tax sale.  The Marshal will charge the tax payer 15% of the total listed on the warrant as well as all costs and fees incurred in the collection of taxes.

Personal Property (Business) Taxation

In general, personal property is anything that is moveable and is not a permanent part of real estate, including items such as business-owned furniture, fixtures, machinery or equipment, as well as horses and unregistered motor vehicles and snowmobiles that anyone owns (Chapter 203 - Sec. 12-71).

A taxpayer must file a Personal Property Declaration with the assessor of the city or town in which personal property is subject to taxation by November 1 annually (Chapter 203 - Sec. 12-41). An assessor may grant a taxpayer an extension of up to 45 days to file a declaration (Chapter 203 - Sec. 12-42). Nonresident taxpayers must also file a declaration (Chapter 203 - Sec. 12-43).

Lessors of personal property must also file a report with assessors by November 1, annually. This requirement affects any personal property (other than a Connecticut registered motor vehicle) that is subject to a contract of lease and is in a lessee’s possession and located in CT (Chapter 203 - Sec. 12-57a).

On a Personal Property Declaration, a taxpayer provides information concerning the year of acquisition of personal property, as well as the original cost of acquisition, freight and installation. Assessors apply depreciation to the total cost a taxpayer declares to obtain the depreciated value of personal property. The assessment of the property is 70% of the depreciated value.

If a taxpayer files a Personal Property Declaration subsequent to the date it is due, the assessor adds a 25% assessment penalty to the taxpayer’s assessment. A 25% assessment penalty can also be applied if a taxpayer fails to file a declaration, in which case an assessor uses the best information available to determine the value of the taxpayer’s personal property (Chapter 203 – Sec. 12-41 and Sec. 12-42).

An assessor (or an assessor’s designee) may conduct an audit regarding a taxpayer’s personal property. If an audit reveals that a taxpayer omitted property from a declaration or did not accurately report personal property costs, state law provides for a 25% penalty of the assessed value. Interest is applicable to the tax for such property from the tax due date for the assessment year to which the audit relates (Chapter 203 – Sec. 12-53).

Personal property taxes are not prorated if the business is closed or sold after October 1st. In Prospect, personal property tax bills that are $100.00 or more may be paid in two installments that become due July 1st and January 1st and are payable on or before August 1st and February 1st.

A UCC-1 lien will be filed annually in March with the Secretary of State for any business owing delinquent personal property taxes.

All delinquent personal property taxes will be turned over to the Marshal for collection as of July 1st for the previous grand list year by means of an Alias Tax Warrant. The Marshal will charge the tax payer 15% of the total listed on the warrant as well as all costs and fees incurred in the collection of taxes.

Motor Vehicle Taxation

In general, motor vehicles are subject to taxation in the city or town where, in the normal course of their operation, they most frequently leave from and return to or remain, although state law provides some exceptions to this general rule (Chapter 203 – Sec. 12-71).

The assessment of a motor vehicle is 70% of its average retail value. Generally, assessors use average retail values that the National Automobile Dealer’s Association (NADA) compiles annually. Assessors are responsible for determining the value of any motor vehicle for which the NADA Guide does not provide an average retail value.

All motor vehicles a taxpayer owns on an assessment date are subject to taxation, regardless of whether the Department of Motor Vehicles issues a Connecticut registration for them. Taxes for such vehicles are due the following July 1.   Motor vehicles registered subsequent to October 1 are also subject to taxation. The assessment of a vehicle registered between October 2 and the following July 31, which represents only a portion of the assessment year, is included on a supplemental grand list. Supplemental grand list taxes are billed in January following the conclusion of the assessment year in which the registration of these vehicles occurs.

A property tax reduction or credit is available when a taxpayer sells a motor vehicle and does not replace it with another vehicle.  If a taxpayer replaces one vehicle with another, the assessor reduces the assessment of the replacement vehicle on the supplemental grand list to reflect the credit (Chapter 203 - Sec. 12-71b).

A property tax reduction or credit is also available for a vehicle which is sold, totally damaged, stolen or registered in another state. Taxpayers must claim this credit within the time period that state law prescribes (Chapter 203 - Sec. 12-71c).

In Prospect, motor vehicle bills become due annually on July 1st and are payable in full on or before  August 1st.  The tax bill you pay in July covers the billing period of October 1st through September 30th . Supplemental motor vehicle bills become due annually on January 1st and are payable in full on or before February 1st.  Supplemental motor vehicle payments cover from the month you registered the new vehicle through September 30th.

If you have a question about your assessed value or if you sold, donated, gifted, junked, registered the vehicle out of state, or no longer own a vehicle, please call (203) 758-4461 and ask for the Assessor’s office.

Any taxpayer who owes a tax balance on more than two Grand List years or an amount of $1,000.00 or more will be turned over to the Marshal by means of an Alias Tax Warrant for collection.  The Marshal will charge the tax payer 15% of the total listed on the warrant as well as all costs and fees incurred in the collection of taxes.

 

I’M NOT SURE IF I OWE TAXES OR NOT

If you are not sure whether you owe taxes or not, particularly if you purchased real estate within the past six months, PLEASE inquire at the tax office so we can provide you with a bill before it becomes delinquent. Non-receipt of a tax bill does not invalidate the tax nor eliminate the interest that must be charged for a late payment (CGS 12-130).

 

WHAT IF I RECEIVE A MOTOR VEHICLE BILL FROM A TOWN I DON’T LIVE IN?

If you receive a tax bill from a town that you DID NOT RESIDE IN OR GARAGE YOUR VEHICLE IN as of October 1, 2020, contact the Assessor’s office to request a transfer to the correct Town / City of residency as of October 1, 2020.

WHAT IF I NO LONGER OWN THE VEHICLE I AM BEING BILLED FOR?

For vehicles sold, stolen, donated, gifted or totally destroyed and the registration (marker plate) was not transferred to another vehicle, or if you have moved out of state, you may be eligible for a tax credit. To obtain a credit, you must furnish proof as required by the Assessor. Do not ignore the tax bill because you no longer have the vehicle.  Interest must be charged on any tax due that is not received on or before the last day to pay.

If you receive a bill for a vehicle that was replaced after October 1, 2020 and the registration (marker plate) was transferred to another vehicle, that bill is still due.  You will receive an automatic credit for the new vehicle on a supplemental bill in January 2022.

WHAT IF I NEED A DMV RELEASE?

Any person owing motor vehicle taxes that were due prior to July 1, 2021 will be required to pay ALL PRIOR MOTOR VEHICLE TAXES before a release is issued for registering any vehicle with the Department of Motor Vehicles. There are no exceptions! If an immediate release is needed for registering, a cash payment must be made at the Tax Collector’s office. If you pay with a personal or business check, credit or debit card, or make a payment online, a DMV release will not be issued for 7-10 business days.

WHAT IF I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT MY ASSESSMENT?

Questions regarding assessments on your real estate, personal property or motor vehicle bills should be directed to the Assessor’s office. You can contact that office by phone at 203-758-4461 or by email at [email protected].

WHAT IF I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT MY TAX BILL?

Questions regarding payment of taxes should be directed to the Tax Collector’s office at 203-758-4461 during business hours or by email at [email protected] . Answers to many of your questions can be found on the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Tax payment options (click each option for additional information):

In person

The Tax Collector’s office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.  We do not close for lunch.  Payments made be made with cash, personal or business check, money order, certified bank check, debit or credit card.  If paying with a debit or credit card a 2.95% non-refundable convenience fee is charged by Invoice Cloud.

 

Drop box

The Dropbox is located at the back entrance of the Prospect Town Hall. Place your check or money order payable to “Tax Collector – Prospect” along with the remittance copy of your bill (or the entire bill and a self-addressed envelope if you want a receipt) in an envelope and place it in the drop box. Include your phone number on your check in case we need to contact you regarding your payment. Be sure your check is made out properly and includes a completed date, legal line written out for the exact amount of the check including the cents due, and contains your signature. NEVER LEAVE A CASH PAYMENT IN THE DROP BOX!! Payments left in the drop box on August 2, 2021 will be collected at 4:00 p.m. Any payment left in the drop box after 4:00 p.m. on August 2, 2021 will be considered late and interest will be charged according to Connecticut General Statutes.

Online

www.townofprospect.org  This is a fee-based service.  The non-refundable convenience fee charged by Invoice Cloud for an online tax payment is $0.95 for an electronic check or 2.95% of the payment for debit or credit card payments ($1.95 minimum). The non-refundable convenience fee charged by Invoice Cloud for an online sewer use payment is $0.95 for an electronic check or $4.95 for debit or credit card payments. Accepted cards: Visa / Mastercard / Discover / American Express.

Phone

Call 844-953-0667. This is a fee-based service.  The non-refundable convenience fee charged by Invoice Cloud for phone tax payments is $0.95 PLUS $0.95 for an electronic check or 2.95% of the payment for debit or credit card payments ($1.95 minimum).  The non-refundable convenience fee charged by Invoice Cloud for a phone sewer use payment is $0.95 PLUS $0.95 for an electronic check or $4.95 for debit or credit card payments. Accepted cards: Visa / Mastercard / Discover / American Express.

Pay by Text

Scan the QR Code on your bill to access our online payment system.  This is a fee-based service.  The non-refundable convenience fee charged by Invoice Cloud for an online tax payment is $0.95 for an electronic check or 2.95% of the payment for debit or credit card payments ($1.95 minimum). Accepted cards: Visa / Mastercard / Discover / American Express

Mail

What is considered an Official US Postmark?

postmark is an official Postal Service™ imprint applied in black ink on the address side of a stamped mail piece. A postmark indicates the location and date the Postal Service accepted custody of a mail piece, and it cancels affixed postage. A “local” postmark shows the full name of the Post Office, a two-letter state abbreviation, ZIP Code™, and date of mailing. Because the Postal Service is sensitive to the importance some customers place upon these postmarks, each Post Office is required to make a local postmark available.  (https://about.usps.com/handbooks)

Metered mail does NOT contain an Official US Postmark.

Presorted mail does NOT contain an Official US Postmark.

Bulk mail does NOT contain an Official US Postmark.

 

Mail your check or money order payable to “Tax Collector – Prospect” along with the remittance copy of your bill (or the entire bill and a self-addressed stamped envelope if you want a receipt) to Tax Collector, 36 Center Street, Prospect, CT 06712. Include your phone number on your check in case we need to contact you regarding your payment. Be sure your check is made out properly and includes a completed date, legal line written out for the exact amount of the check including the cents due, and contains your signature. NEVER MAIL A CASH PAYMENT!! If you are putting your payment in the mail at the end of July to be posted to your account by August 2, 2021, take your envelope to the post office and have them stamp it with an Official US Postmark. Payments not received in the Tax Office on or before August 2, 2021 that do not contain an Official US Postmark will be considered late and charged interest according to Connecticut General Statutes.

Pay with your personal or business bank online services

Personal / Business Banking Online Payment Cautions

Over the past several years, municipal tax payments by electronic checks have increased significantly. The Town of Prospect accepts these checks for payment but cautions taxpayers who use this service.

Most banking institutions have a disclaimer that is overlooked regarding the use of electronic payments for municipal taxes.  This disclaimer is set up for a very good reason.  With most banking institutions, when a taxpayer chooses to pay their tax bill electronically with a specific pay date, a clearing house receives the money on that day from the taxpayer’s account which leads the taxpayer to believe the tax collector received the check and cashed it.  That is not the case.  That clearing house has the money until the tax collector receives the check.

Another major issue is that clearing houses do not have an Official US Postmark on any of their envelopes.  If the tax collector does not receive a payment by the last day to pay without penalty, the envelope is checked for an Official US Postmark and if there is not one, the payment inside is considered late regardless of what the check date is.

CT State Statute 12-146 states “No tax or installment thereof shall be construed to be delinquent under the provision of this section if the envelope containing the amount due as such tax or installment, as received by the tax collector of the municipality to which such tax is payable, bear a postmark showing a date within the time allowed by statute for the payment of such tax or installment”.  The law does not refer to check dates or banking records so the Official US Postmark is the only legal writing tax collectors can accept.

In summary, using electronic checks for payment of taxes is a risky way to pay. There is no recourse if the tax collector receives your envelope after the last day to pay without penalty.

What is considered an Official US Postmark?

postmark is an official Postal Service™ imprint applied in black ink on the address side of a stamped mail piece. A postmark indicates the location and date the Postal Service accepted custody of a mail piece, and it cancels affixed postage. A “local” postmark shows the full name of the Post Office, a two-letter state abbreviation, ZIP Code™, and date of mailing. Because the Postal Service is sensitive to the importance some customers place upon these postmarks, each Post Office is required to make a local postmark available. (https://about.usps.com/handbooks)

Metered mail does NOT contain an Official US Postmark.

Presorted mail does NOT contain an Official US Postmark.

Bulk mail does NOT contain an Official US Postmark.

 

Most banks do not recommend paying taxes through their online service because the payments are not mailed with an Official US Postmark and may not be received by the Tax Office by the last day to pay. IMPORTANT: If you schedule your tax payment using your personal or business online banking feature, be sure to schedule it with a date that will ensure it arrives in the Tax Office prior to the last day for payment. Payments sent by your bank do not have a postmark on the envelope. Therefore, interest will be charged on payments received from this online banking service if not in our office by 4:00 p.m. on the last day for payment. Taxpayers utilizing this payment option do so at their own risk.

CASH PAYMENTS ARE NOT BEING ACCEPTED AT THIS TIME. Payments can be made by:

1) Drop box – located at the back entrance of the Prospect Town Hall. Place your check or money order payable to “Tax Collector – Prospect” along with the remittance copy of your bill (or the entire bill and a self-addressed envelope if you want a receipt) in an envelope and place it in the drop box. Include your phone number on your check in case we need to contact you regarding your payment. Be sure your check is made out properly and includes a completed date, legal line written out for the exact amount of the check including the cents due, and contains your signature. NEVER LEAVE A CASH PAYMENT IN THE DROP BOX!! Payments left in the drop box on February 1, 2021 and April 1, 2021 will be collected at 4:00 p.m. Any payment left in the drop box after 4:00 p.m. on February 1, 2021 or April 1, 2021 if eligible for the Deferral Program will be considered late and interest will be charged according to Connecticut General Statutes.

2) Online – at www.townofprospect.org The convenience fee charged by Invoice Cloud for an online payment is $0.95 for an electronic check or 2.95% of the payment for debit or credit card payments ($1.95 minimum).

3) Phone – by calling 844-953-0667. The convenience fee charged by Invoice Cloud for phone payments is $0.95 PLUS $0.95 for an electronic check or 2.95% of the payment for debit or credit card payments ($1.95 minimum).

4) Pay by Text – Scan the QR Code on your bill to access our online payment system.

5) Mail – your check or money order payable to “Tax Collector – Prospect” along with the remittance copy of your bill (or the entire bill and a self-addressed envelope if you want a receipt) to Tax Collector, 36 Center Street, Prospect, CT 06712. Include your phone number on your check in case we need to contact you regarding your payment. Be sure your check is made out properly and includes a completed date, legal line written out for the exact amount of the check including the cents due, and contains your signature. NEVER MAIL A CASH PAYMENT!! If you are putting your payment in the mail at the end of January to be posted to your account by February 1, 2021, take your envelope to the post office and have them stamp it with an official US Postmark. Payments not received in the Tax Office on or before February 1, 2021 that are not eligible for the Deferral Program and do not contain an official US Postmark will be considered late and charged interest according to Connecticut General Statutes. If you are putting your payment in the mail at the end of March to be posted to your account by April 1, 2021, take your envelope to the post office and have them stamp it with an official US Postmark. Payments not received in the Tax Office on or before April 1, 2021 that are eligible for the Deferral Program and do not contain an official US Postmark will be considered late and charged interest according to Connecticut General Statutes.

6) Pay with your personal or business bank online services – Most banks do not recommend paying taxes through their online service because the payments are not mailed with an official US Postmark and may not be received by the Tax Office by the last day to pay. IMPORTANT: If you schedule your tax payment using your personal or business online banking feature, be sure to schedule it with a date that will ensure it arrives in the Tax Office prior to the last day for payment. Payments sent by your bank do not have a postmark on the envelope. Therefore, interest will be charged on payments received from this online banking service if not in our office by 4:00 p.m. on the last day for payment.

Questions regarding assessments on your real estate, personal property or motor vehicle bills should be directed to the Assessor’s office. You can contact that office by phone at 203-758-4461 or by email at [email protected]

Questions regarding payment of taxes should be directed to the Tax Collector’s office at 203-758-4461 during business hours or by email at [email protected] Answers to many of your questions can be found on the Frequently Asked Questions page.

(Updated 1/20/2021)