House Bill No. 6895
               House Bill No. 6895

              PUBLIC ACT NO. 97-270


AN ACT CONCERNING CHANGES RELATED TO ASSESSORS AND
BOARDS OF ASSESSORS  AND APPEALS FROM DECISIONS OF
BOARDS  OF ASSESSMENT  APPEALS  OR  MUNICIPALITIES
WITH RESPECT TO ASSESSMENTS.


    Be  it  enacted  by  the  Senate  and House of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section   1.  Section  12-61  of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed  and   the   following   is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    The ASSESSOR OR  board  of  assessors  of  any
municipality, having obtained  the approval of the
Secretary of the  Office of Policy and Management,
shall have authority to use any special assessment
form [or forms]  IN LIEU OF ANY FORM PRESCRIBED BY
THE SECRETARY. In  the  event  of such approval of
any special form, such ASSESSOR OR board shall not
be required to  use any general form prescribed by
[law] THE SECRETARY for which such special form is
a substitute. No special form shall be approved by
the  Secretary  of   the   Office  of  Policy  and
Management unless all  the information which would
be available on the general form is also available
thereon. The [Secretary  of  the  Office of Policy
and  Management]  SECRETARY   may,  at  any  time,
rescind his approval  of  any special form and the
regular form required by law shall be used in such
municipality beginning with  its  next  succeeding
assessment DATE, unless  in  the  interim  another
special form has  been approved. [by the Secretary
of the Office of Policy and Management.]
    Sec. 2. Subsection  (a)  of  section 12-117 of
the general statutes is repealed and the following
is substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a)  The period  prescribed  by  law  for  the
completion of the duties of any assessor, board of
assessors or board  of assessment appeals may, for
due cause shown,  be  extended by the Secretary of
the Office of  Policy  and Management for a period
not exceeding one  month,  and  in the case of the
board of assessment  appeals  in  any  town in the
assessment year immediately  following  completion
of a revaluation of all real property in such town
and adjustment of  the  assessment  list  for such
assessment year accordingly,  such  period  may be
extended  by  said  secretary  for  a  period  not
exceeding two months,  provided  such  assessor or
board shall submit  to  said  secretary,  not less
than ten days  before the expiration of the period
prescribed by law,  a request in writing, approved
by   the   chief    executive   officer   of   the
municipality, for such  extension,  setting  forth
the reasons therefor.  If  an extension is granted
to any assessor or board of assessors, the date by
which a taxpayer  shall  be  required  to submit a
written  request  for   appeal  to  the  board  of
assessment  appeals shall  be  extended  to  March
twentieth and said  board  shall  conduct hearings
regarding such requests during the month of April.
The board shall  send notification to the taxpayer
of the time and date of an appeal hearing at least
seven calendar days  preceding  the  hearing date,
but no later  than  the first day of April. If the
board elects not  to  hear an appeal in accordance
with the provisions  of  section  12-111  it shall
notify the taxpayer of such decision no later than
the first day  of  April.  All  provisions of said
section 12-111, other  than  the  extension of the
filing and notification dates as herein set forth,
shall  be  applicable   to  such  appeals.  If  an
extension is granted  to  any  board of assessment
appeals, the time  period  within which a taxpayer
may appeal from the decision of such board and the
time within which  the  [town  clerk]  ASSESSOR OR
BOARD OF ASSESSORS  shall  transmit an abstract of
the assessment lists  shall be extended for a like
period.
    Sec. 3. Subsection  (b)  of section 12-129b of
the general statutes is repealed and the following
is substituted in lieu thereof:
    (b) The tax on the real property for which the
benefits under this  section  are claimed shall be
calculated by multiplying the assessed value, less
one thousand dollars,  of  said  property  for the
year 1966 or  for any subsequent year in which the
taxpayer first files  and  has  approved  a  claim
under this section  and  section  12-129c,  by the
applicable mill rate  of that year for the general
property tax, exclusive  of  any special tax levy,
except that, if  such  property is located in more
than one town,  the tax payable to the town of the
taxpayer's voting residence shall be so calculated
and the tax  payable to the other town or towns in
which such property is located shall be calculated
by multiplying the assessed value of said property
for the year  1968  or  for any subsequent year in
which a taxpayer  first  files  and has approved a
claim under this  section  and  section 12-129c by
the applicable mill  rate of such general property
tax of that  year.  If  title  to real property is
recorded in the  name  of the person or his spouse
making a claim  and qualifying under said sections
and any other  person  or  persons,  the  claimant
hereunder shall be  entitled to pay his fractional
share of the  tax  on  such property calculated in
accordance with the  provisions  of  this section,
and such other  person or persons shall pay his or
their fractional share  of  the tax without regard
for the provisions of said sections. [Any taxpayer
in a municipality  changing  to  a  uniform fiscal
year  shall  have   his   benefits  calculated  in
accordance with section 12-129h.] For the purposes
of this section,  a "mobile manufactured home", as
defined in section  12-63a,  shall be deemed to be
real property.
    Sec.  4.  Section   12-129n   of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed   and   the   following  is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a)  Any municipality  may,  by  vote  of  its
legislative body on recommendation of its board of
finance or equivalent  body,  provide property tax
relief, with respect  to  real  property owned and
occupied as their principal residence by residents
of such municipality  who are (1) sixty-five years
of age and  over,  or  whose  spouses, living with
them, are sixty-five years of age or over or sixty
years of age or over and the surviving spouse of a
taxpayer qualified in such municipality under this
section at the  time  of his death or with respect
to real property  on which such residents or their
spouses are liable  for taxes under section 12-48,
or  (2)  under  age  sixty-five  and  eligible  in
accordance with applicable  federal regulations to
receive permanent total  disability benefits under
Social  Security, or  have  not  been  engaged  in
employment   covered  by   Social   Security   and
accordingly  have  not   qualified   for  benefits
thereunder,   but  have   become   qualified   for
permanent  total  disability  benefits  under  any
federal, state or  local  government retirement or
disability plan, including the Railroad Retirement
Act   and   any    government-related    teacher's
retirement  plan,  in   which   requirements  with
respect to qualifications for such permanent total
disability  benefits  are   comparable   to   such
requirements under Social  Security, provided such
residents or their  spouses under subdivisions (1)
or  (2)  above   have   been   taxpayers  of  such
municipality for one  year  immediately  preceding
their receipt of  tax benefits under this section,
and meet the requirements which may be established
by  such  municipality  with  respect  to  maximum
income   allowable  during   the   calendar   year
preceding the year  in  which  application is made
for the tax  relief  provided  in this section. No
such property tax relief, together with any relief
received by any such resident under the provisions
of  sections  12-129b   to   12-129d,   inclusive,
[12-129h,]  and  12-170aa  shall  exceed,  in  the
aggregate the total amount of the tax which would,
except  for  said  sections  12-129b  to  12-129d,
inclusive, [12-129h,] 12-170aa  and  this section,
be laid against the taxpayer.
    (b)  Prior  to   initial   approval   by   the
legislative body of  such municipality of the plan
of property tax  relief to be provided pursuant to
the  provisions of  this  section,  the  executive
authority of such  municipality  shall  appoint  a
committee  consisting  of   not   less  than  five
resident  taxpayers of  such  municipality,  which
shall undertake and  complete  within a period not
in   excess   of   sixty   days   following   such
appointment,  a  study   and   investigation  with
respect to such  property  tax  relief and, on the
basis thereof, prepare a report to be presented to
the board of  finance  or  equivalent body of such
municipality,  which  report   shall  include  the
following: (1) The  fiscal effect of such property
tax  relief  on  property  tax  revenue  for  such
municipality; (2) recommendations  with respect to
the form and  extent  of such property tax relief.
After the initial  approval  of  such property tax
relief   by   the   legislative   body   of   such
municipality, such plan  may  be amended from time
to  time  by  vote  of  its  legislative  body  on
recommendation  of  its   board   of   finance  or
equivalent  body  without   compliance   with  the
requirements of this subsection applicable to such
initial approval.
    (c)  The  total   abatement  of  property  tax
revenue, based on  an  estimate in any tax year by
the board of  finance  or  equivalent body of such
municipality, which may  be  granted  in  such tax
year  by  such   municipality   pursuant   to  the
provisions of this  section  shall  not  exceed an
amount equal to  ten  per  cent  of the total real
property tax assessed  in such municipality in the
preceding tax year.
    (d) Any such  property  tax  relief granted to
any  such  resident   in   accordance   with   the
provisions of this  section  shall  not disqualify
such resident with  respect  to  any  benefits for
which such resident  shall  be  eligible under the
provisions  of  sections   12-129b   to   12-129d,
inclusive, [12-129h] and  12-170aa,  and  any such
property tax relief  provided  under  this section
shall be in  addition  to  any  such  benefits for
which such resident  shall  be eligible under said
sections.
    (e) Reimbursement of  such  municipality under
the provisions of  sections  12-129b  to  12-129d,
inclusive, [12-129h, 12-129i]  and  12-170aa shall
be limited to  such  amount  as  the  municipality
would be entitled  to  receive  for  revenues lost
because  of  tax   relief   provided   under   the
provisions  of said  sections.  The  property  tax
relief provided for  in  this  section may, in any
case where title  to  real property is recorded in
the name of  the  taxpayer  or  his spouse and any
other person or  persons,  be  prorated to reflect
the fractional share  of  such  taxpayer or spouse
or,  if  such   property   is   a  multiple-family
dwelling, such relief  may  be prorated to reflect
the fractional portion  of  such property occupied
by the taxpayer.
    (f) Any municipality  providing  property  tax
relief under this  section may establish a lien on
such property in the amount of the relief granted,
provided if the  total amount of such property tax
relief with respect  to  any  such  taxpayer, when
combined with any  such  tax relief for which such
taxpayer  may  be   eligible  in  accordance  with
sections 12-129b to  12-129d, inclusive, [12-129h]
or 12-170aa, exceeds in the aggregate seventy-five
per  cent of  the  property  tax  for  which  such
taxpayer would be  liable  but  for  the  benefits
under  this  section   and  any  of  the  sections
mentioned   above   in   this   subsection,   such
municipality shall be required to establish a lien
on such property  in  the  amount of the total tax
relief granted, plus  interest  applicable  to the
total  of such  unpaid  taxes  at  a  rate  to  be
determined by such  municipality.  Any  such  lien
shall have a  priority  in  the settlement of such
person's estate.
    (g)  (1)  Any   municipality   establishing  a
program of property  tax relief under this section
shall make persons  eligible  for  such  relief if
they qualify in  accordance  with  age  and income
pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and are
unit owners of a cooperative.
    (2) The amount  of  annual property tax relief
in accordance with  this  subsection  to  any such
person  shall be  determined  in  relation  to  an
assumed   amount   of   property   tax   liability
applicable to the  assessed value for the dwelling
unit  which such  person  owns  and  occupies,  as
determined by the  assessor in the municipality in
which the cooperative  is  situated. Annually, not
later than the  first day of June, the assessor in
such municipality, upon  receipt of an application
for such relief,  shall determine, with respect to
the assessment list  in  such municipality for the
assessment   year   commencing    October    first
immediately preceding, the portion of the assessed
value of the  entire  cooperative,  as included in
such assessment list, attributable to the dwelling
unit occupied by such person. The assumed property
tax  liability for  purposes  of  determining  the
amount of the  relief shall be the product of such
assessed  value  and   the   mill   rate  in  such
municipality  as  determined   for   purposes   of
property tax imposed  on  said assessment list for
the  assessment  year   commencing  October  first
immediately preceding. The  amount  of  relief  to
which  such person  shall  be  entitled  for  such
assessment year shall  be equivalent to the amount
of  tax reduction  for  which  such  person  would
qualify,  considering such  assumed  property  tax
liability to be the actual property tax applicable
to such person's  dwelling unit and such person as
liable for the payment of such tax.
    Sec. 5. Subsection  (b)  of section 12-129o of
the general statutes is repealed and the following
is substituted in lieu thereof:
    (b)  [Sections 12-129d  and  12-129i]  SECTION
12-129d shall not  be  applicable  with respect to
tax  relief  provided   by   any  municipality  in
accordance with the  provisions  of subsection (a)
of this section.
    Sec.  6.  Section   12-129p   of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed   and   the   following  is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of sections
12-129b to [12-129i]  12-129d,  inclusive,  if the
amount of tax  benefit  calculated  in  accordance
with said sections and provided thereunder for any
homeowner qualified for  the program of tax relief
under said sections  is equivalent to two thousand
dollars or more  in the assessment year commencing
October 1, 1985,  such  benefit  shall not, in any
subsequent assessment year  exceed  the  amount of
such benefit to  which such homeowner was entitled
for said assessment  year  commencing  October  1,
1985, and additionally,  if the amount of such tax
benefit for any  homeowner  so  qualified  is less
than two thousand  dollars  in the assessment year
commencing October 1,  1985,  the  amount  of such
homeowner's benefit shall  not,  in any subsequent
assessment year, exceed two thousand dollars.
    (b) In any  municipality  which, as of July 6,
1987, has deferred  any  part  of  the  amount  of
increased assessed value of real property pursuant
to subsection (e)  of  section 12-62a, the maximum
benefit to which  any  homeowner shall be entitled
pursuant to subsection  (a)  of this section shall
be the amount  to which such homeowner is entitled
pursuant to sections 12-129b to [12-129i] 12-129d,
inclusive, in the  first  assessment year in which
no  deferral of  assessed  value  occurs,  and  no
maximum benefit shall be imposed in any year prior
to such first assessment year in which no deferral
occurs.
    Sec. 7. Section 12-65f of the general statutes
is repealed and  the  following  is substituted in
lieu thereof:
    [Any] (a) EXCEPT  AS  PROVIDED  IN  SUBSECTION
(b),  ANY person  aggrieved  by  any  decision  or
action,  or  failure   to   take   action,   by  a
municipality  under  the  provisions  of  sections
12-65c to 12-65e,  inclusive,  may  appeal  within
fifteen days of  the  notice  of  such decision or
action, or in  the case of failure to take action,
within  fifteen  days   after  the  expiration  of
sixty-five days from the date of the submission of
the request for  action to the legislative body of
the municipality, to  the  superior  court for the
judicial district in which the municipality lies.
    (b) ANY PERSON  AGGRIEVED  BY  ANY DECISION OR
ACTION,  OR  FAILURE   TO   TAKE   ACTION,   BY  A
MUNICIPALITY  UNDER  THE  PROVISIONS  OF  SECTIONS
12-65c TO 12-65e,  INCLUSIVE,  THAT IS BASED ON AN
INITIAL ASSESSMENT FOLLOWING A REVALUATION OF SUCH
PROPERTY,  MAY APPEAL  SUCH  DECISION,  ACTION  OR
FAILURE  TO  TAKE   ACTION   IN   ANY   SUBSEQUENT
ASSESSMENT YEAR.
    Sec.  8.  Section   12-117a   of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed   and   the   following  is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    [Any] (a) EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SUBSECTION (b)
OF THIS SECTION,  ANY person, including any lessee
of real property  whose lease has been recorded as
provided in section  47-19  and who is bound under
the terms of his lease to pay real property taxes,
claiming to be  aggrieved  by  the  action  of the
board of tax  review  or  the  board of assessment
appeals, as the  case  may be, in any town or city
may,  within two  months  from  the  date  of  the
mailing   of   notice   of   such   action,   make
application, in the nature of an appeal therefrom,
with  respect  to  the  assessment  list  for  the
assessment  year  commencing   October   1,  1989,
October 1, 1990, October 1, 1991, October 1, 1992,
October 1, 1993,  October  1,  1994, or October 1,
1995, and with  respect to the assessment list for
assessment years thereafter, to the superior court
for the judicial  district  in  which such town or
city is situated,  which shall be accompanied by a
citation to such  town  or  city  to appear before
said court. Such  citation  shall be signed by the
same authority and such appeal shall be returnable
at the same  time  and  served and returned in the
same manner as is required in case of a summons in
a civil action. The authority issuing the citation
shall  take  from   the   applicant   a   bond  or
recognizance to such town or city, with surety, to
prosecute the application  to effect and to comply
with and conform  to the orders and decrees of the
court in the  premises. Any such application shall
be a preferred  case,  to  be  heard,  unless good
cause  appears  to  the  contrary,  at  the  first
session, by the  court or by a committee appointed
by the court.  The  pendency  of  such application
shall not suspend  an  action by such town or city
to collect not  more than seventy-five per cent of
the tax so  assessed  or  not more than ninety per
cent of such tax with respect to any real property
for  which the  assessed  value  is  five  hundred
thousand dollars or  more,  and  upon  which  such
appeal is taken.  If,  during the pendency of such
appeal,  a  new   assessment   year   begins,  the
applicant may amend  his  application  as  to  any
matter therein, including  an  appeal for such new
year, which is  affected  by the inception of such
new year and such applicant need not appear before
the board of  tax  review  or  board of assessment
appeals,  as  the   case  may  be,  to  make  such
amendment effective. The court shall have power to
grant  such  relief   as  to  justice  and  equity
appertains, upon such terms and in such manner and
form as appear  equitable, and, if the application
appears to have  been made without probable cause,
may  tax double  or  triple  costs,  as  the  case
appears   to   demand;    and,   upon   all   such
applications, costs may be taxed at the discretion
of the court.  If the assessment made by the board
of tax review  or  board of assessment appeals, as
the case may  be,  is  reduced  by said court, the
applicant shall be  reimbursed by the town or city
for  any  overpayment   of  taxes,  together  with
interest and any  costs  awarded by the court, or,
at the applicant's  option, shall be granted a tax
credit  for such  overpayment,  interest  and  any
costs awarded by  the  court.  Upon  motion,  said
court shall, in  event  of such overpayment, enter
judgment in favor  of  such  applicant and against
such city or  town  for  the  whole amount of such
overpayment, together with  interest and any costs
awarded by the  court.  The  amount  to  which the
assessment is so  reduced  shall  be  the assessed
value of such  property  on  the  grand  lists for
succeeding years until the tax assessor finds that
the  value  of   the   applicant's   property  has
increased or decreased.
    (b) ANY PERSON CLAIMING TO BE AGGRIEVED BY THE
ACTION OF THE  BOARD OF TAX REVIEW OR THE BOARD OF
ASSESSMENT APPEALS, AS  THE  CASE  MAY  BE, IN ANY
TOWN OR CITY  MAY,  IN  ANY  SUBSEQUENT ASSESSMENT
YEAR, MAKE APPLICATION  IN THE NATURE OF AN APPEAL
THEREFROM IN THE MANNER PROVIDED IN SUBSECTION (a)
OF THIS SECTION,  WITH  RESPECT  TO  AN ASSESSMENT
THAT IS BASED ON AN INITIAL ASSESSMENT FOLLOWING A
REVALUATION OF SUCH PROPERTY.
    Sec. 9. Subsection (b) of section 12-53 of the
general statutes is  repealed and the following is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    (b) If the  assessor  or board of assessors of
any town believe  that  taxable  property has been
omitted from the  list  given  in by any person or
that taxable property  belongs  to  any person who
has not given  in  a  list,  or if the assessor or
board of assessors  are  unable  to  determine the
value of any  property  without  the assistance of
the  owner,  custodian   or  other  person  having
knowledge of the  same,  they  may  give notice in
writing to the  owner,  custodian  or other person
having  knowledge of  any  such  property  or  the
valuation thereof, of  the  time  and  place  of a
hearing with respect  thereto.  Such notice shall,
within [three] TWO  years  after  the due date for
the filing of  such  list  or  within  [three] TWO
years  after  the  date  on  which  such  list  is
received by the assessor or board of assessors, if
later, be placed  in  the  hands of such person or
left at his  usual  place of residence or business
or shall be sent to him by registered or certified
mail  at his  last-known  place  of  residence  or
business.  Such notice  shall  direct  the  person
named therein to  appear  before  the  assessor or
board of assessors  with books of account, papers,
documents and other  records for examination under
oath  relative  to   any   such  property  or  the
valuation thereof. All  omitted  taxable property,
discovered  at such  hearing  or  any  adjournment
thereof and not listed by the owner as required by
law, shall be  added  to his list by such assessor
or board of  assessors  at  the  percentage of its
actual valuation, as determined by the assessor or
board  of  assessors   in   accordance   with  the
provisions of sections 12-63, 12-64 and 12-71, and
twenty-five per cent  of  such assessment shall be
added  thereto.  Subject   to  the  provisions  of
sections 12-57 and  12-129,  if  any  property  is
discovered  at such  hearing  or  any  adjournment
thereof to be  listed  in  error  by the owner, it
shall be removed  from  such  owner's  list by the
assessor or board of assessors. No person shall be
excused from giving  testimony  or producing books
of account, papers, documents and other records on
the ground that such testimony and such production
of documents will  tend  to  incriminate  him, but
such testimony and  such production of documentary
evidence  shall  not   be  used  in  any  criminal
proceeding against him.  Any  person  who fails to
appear at the  time  and  place of such hearing in
such  notice  designated  or  at  any  adjournment
thereof, or, having  appeared,  refuses  to answer
any pertinent question  put to him or who fails to
produce  the  books,  papers  or  other  documents
mentioned in such  notice, shall be fined not more
than one hundred  dollars  or  imprisoned not more
than thirty days  or  both. All property which the
assessor or board  of  assessors  believes  should
have been listed  for  taxation and was not listed
and concerning which sufficient information cannot
be  obtained by  them  at  such  hearing,  or  any
adjournment thereof, shall be added to the list at
such percentage of  the  actual  valuation thereof
from  the  best   information  obtainable  by  the
assessor or board of assessors and twenty-five per
cent shall be added to such assessment.
    Sec. 10. Subsection  (a)  of section 12-63c of
the general statutes is repealed and the following
is substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a) In determining the present true and actual
value in any  town of real property used primarily
for  purposes  of  producing  rental  income,  the
assessor, which term whenever used in this section
shall  include assessor  or  board  of  assessors,
shall  have  power  to  require,  subject  to  the
conditions in subsection  (b)  of this section, in
the conduct of  any  appraisal  of  such  property
pursuant  to  the  capitalization  of  net  income
method, as provided  in  section  12-63b, that the
owner of such  property  annually  submit  or make
available to the assessor not later than the first
day  of  June,   [on  a  form  prescribed  by  the
Secretary of the  Office  of Policy and Management
or approved in accordance with section 12-61,] the
best available information  disclosing  the actual
rental  and rental-related  income  and  operating
expenses   applicable  to   such   property.   THE
SECRETARY OF THE  OFFICE  OF POLICY AND MANAGEMENT
SHALL PREPARE A FORM WHICH THE ASSESSOR MAY USE TO
COLLECT  SUCH  INFORMATION.   ALTERNATIVELY,   THE
ASSESSOR  MAY  PREPARE   HIS   OWN  FORM  FOR  THE
COLLECTION  OF SUCH  INFORMATION.  ANY  SUCH  FORM
PREPARED  BY THE  ASSESSOR  SHALL  NOT  INCLUDE  A
REQUEST FOR ANY  INFORMATION THAT IS NOT REQUESTED
ON THE FORM PREPARED BY THE SECRETARY.
    Sec. 11. Subsection  (b)  of section 12-63c of
the general statutes is repealed and the following
is substituted in lieu thereof:
    (b)  The power  of  the  assessor  to  require
submission or availability  of information related
to actual rental  and  rental-related  income  and
operating expenses with  respect to the use of any
real property used  primarily  for  the purpose of
producing   rental   income,   as   described   in
subsection (a), shall  only  be applicable to such
information in relation  to the last [three income
years] INCOME YEAR  of  the owner of such property
immediately preceding a  revaluation  of  all real
property in such  town  as  required under section
12-62.  Any such  information  related  to  actual
rental  and rental-related  income  and  operating
expenses and not already a matter of public record
which  is  submitted  or  made  available  to  the
assessor shall not be subject to the provisions of
section 1-19.
    Sec. 12. Sections  12-114, 12-129h and 12-129i
of the general statutes are repealed.
    Sec. 13. This  act  shall take effect from its
passage, except that section 2 shall be applicable
to reports of  grand  lists  for  assessment years
commencing  on and  after  October  1,  1996,  and
sections 7 and 8 shall be applicable to assessment
years commencing on or after October 1, 1996.

Vetoed June 27, 1997