Westport Assessor Paul Friia said that state statutes allow tax assessors to reduce the assessment of buildings damaged beyond repair due to fire or weather-related events, such as the recent Storm Sandy.
“The reduction in the assessment of the building is as of the date of the fire or weather-related event so long as the property owner has complied in a timely manner with all of the requirements for obtaining the assessment reduction,” said Friia.
He said under state statutes, the building has have to been damaged beyond repair, and within 120 days from the date of the fire or weather-related event the building must be demolished, all of the material from the building must be totally removed from the property, and the property must be properly graded after the demolition to the satisfaction of the Building Inspector.
Storm Sandy concluded on Oct. 30. Therefore, in order for the tax assessor to reduce the assessment of the building prorated to Oct. 30, the property owner must have completed all of the tasks required on or before Feb. 27, 2013, Friia said.
In those cases where the property owner is not able to complete the required tasks within 120 days of the fire or weather-related event, the tax assessor has authority to reduce the assessment of the building as of the date that the required demolition, removal and grading are completed, he said. State statutes require that the property owner complete the demolition, removal and grading in the same manner as outlined above.
Residents should contact the Assessor’s Office at 203-341-1135 or 203-341-1140 with any questions regarding the process for requesting a reduction in assessment pursuant for any building that has been damaged beyond repair by Storm Sandy.