Last week, the Woodbridge Assessor mailed updated property assessments, or revaluations, to all Woodbridge owners of real estate. I offer below answers to common questions about the revaluation process.

What is a revaluation? Revaluation involves the reappraisal of all real estate in Town in light of new market information. Its purpose is to value all properties by the same standard at the same moment in time. The new property assessment is based on 70 percent of the October 1, 2004, market value.

Why is revaluation conducted? The State requires municipalities to conduct revaluation every few years.

We were just "revaled" in 2000, why is it happening again so soon? The State used to require revaluation once every 10 years. The State changed to more frequent valuation so that property tax assessments would be more consistent with current real estate market values.

Will my property taxes automatically increase by the same percentage that my assessment increased? Absolutely not! The change in your property tax bill is driven by the Town's overall operating budget. Revenue is realized based on both the valuation of real property and the mill rate set by the Board of Finance for any given year. In general, if assessments increase considerably, as they have in Woodbridge, then the mill rate can be adjusted downward. Without revaluation, the mill rate increased by 3.69 percent and 2.95 percent in the last two years.

Did all valuations go up by exactly the same percentage? No. The assessments are based on the real estate market - the market dictates your home's increase in value. The Town retained consultant Vision Appraisal Technology to assist the Assessor in the market analysis and valuation process.

Why did the Assessor visit my house but not my neighbor's? By law, the Assessor or her agent must view each house in Woodbridge once every 10 years. For those properties requiring inspection, the Assessor sent written notice to the owner(s) in an effort to schedule the inspection at a mutually convenient time.

If I don't agree with my assessment, what do I do? Please refer to your assessment notice, as it contains detailed information on the appeal process. You may also want to check the Town website, under the Assessor's Department, at www.munic.state.ct.us/WOODBRIDGE/woodbridge.htm. The Assessor may be reached at 389-3417. I encourage you to review your assessment and ask any questions that you have.