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Two forms of proof are required in order to remove, or pro-rate, a vehicle you no longer own, from the Grand List. The first form of proof to be presented, MUST be, the plate receipt from DMV showing that you have cancelled the plate. This can be done online at https://www.ct.gov/dmv/cwp/view.asp?a=803&q=569570, or done at the DMV itself. The second form of proof, will be something that tells us what you did with the vehicle. This could be a Bill of Sale, Trade-in Papers, Out of State Registration, etc. A full list of acceptable forms of proof can be found here /DocumentCenter/View/48. If you do not have a copy of any of these documents, a Motor Vehicle Affidavit, may be filled out and returned to the Assessor's Office /DocumentCenter/View/42.
You must be a town of Westbrook resident as of October 1st to receive a Veteran’s Exemption.
Regular Veteran’s Exemption: To qualify for a regular Veteran’s Exemption, the Veteran must have served at least 90 days during wartime and received an honorable discharge. Original discharge papers (DD-214) or separation papers must be filed with the Town Clerk’s Office prior to October 1st. There is no income criteria for this exemption. The benefit takes $6,000 off of the assessment of your home. If you do not own your home, the benefit is taken off the most expensive vehicle(s) that you own.
Disabled Veteran’s: Disabled Veterans who receive eligibility letters directly from the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs may be entitled to increased property tax exemptions for service related disabilities. In order to receive this exemption, the veteran must file the disability letter with the Assessor’s Office.
Additional Veteran’s Exemptions: An additional benefit is available for Veterans with incomes under a certain amount (the amount changes every year, so contact the Assessor's Office for this information). The filing period is February 1st thru October 1st. Qualifying income includes your form 1040 tax return, if filed, and/or SSA 1099 – Social Security Statement. Additional Veteran’s Benefits double the regular Veterans Benefits.
Qualifying income for 100% V.A. Disabled Veterans is $18,000 for a single person and $21,000 for a married couple. Social security income is not considered.
A widow/widower is entitled to keep 100% of their spouse’s Veterans Benefit.
A Homeowner who is 65 years of age or older, and who's income is under a certain amount, is qualified for the following tax breaks:
The Elderly/Disabled Homeowner Program: Runs between February 1 and May 15 each year. The applicant must be 65 years of age to apply or any age if they are permanently and totally disabled and qualify with the state income limits.
Please bring a copy of your form 1040 and/or form SSA-1099 when applying. This program is also called the Circuit Breaker Program and must be filed every two years. Along with the Homeowner’s age or disability requirements, they must fall within the income limits (these limits change every year, so contact the Assessor’s Office for this information). If you are unsure if you qualify for the upcoming year, please call the Assessor’s Office 860-399-3016 or 860-399-3045.
The Senior Tax Freeze Program: Wherein your taxes can be frozen the first year you qualify. From then on, as long as your income criteria does not exceed the state income limits, and you do not increase the value of your home by way of additions or outbuildings, your taxes will not increase. If a Homeowner is on the Elderly Homeowner Program (Circuit Breaker), their taxes can be frozen and the forgiven taxes do NOT have to be repaid when they sell their home.
If the Homeowner does not qualify for the Circuit Breaker Program, the Homeowner may still qualify for the Freeze Program; however, in that event a lien will be placed on the property in the amount of the taxes not paid, and when the property is sold, the lien amount must be repaid to the town.
The total income is calculated from the IRS 1040 form line 20a (or 5a on the new short form) social security benefits, and line 37 (or line 7 on the new short form) adjusted gross income. If the applicant does not file an income tax return and has social security as their only yearly income, then a copy of the form SSA-1099 – Social Security Benefit Statement will be required, along with any other 1099s received for the year.
Totally Disabled Tax Exemption: This program takes $1,000 off of the assessment of your home. If you do not own your home, the exemption comes off of your most expensive vehicle. Along with the application, proof of eligibility must be submitted as well. This can be an award letter from Social Security, the Department of Veteran's Affairs, or any other Federal, State or Local Government Retirement or Disability Plan. If over the age of 65, a Physician's Certificate, with a Doctor's signature may be submitted in place of the award letter. The Application and the Physician's Certificate can be found here /DocumentCenter/View/2298, as well as the Assessor Page of the website.
Elderly/Disabled Homeowner Program: Runs between February 1 and May 15, each year. The applicant must be a Homeowner 65 years of age to apply or any age if they are permanently and totally disabled and qualify with the state income limits. Please bring a copy of your form 1040 and/or form SSA-1099 when applying. This program is also called the Circuit Breaker program and the application must be filed every two years. Along with the Homeowner’s age or disability requirements, the applicant(s) must fall within qualifying income limits (these limits change every year, so contact the Assessor for this information).
Ambulatory Vehicle Benefit: If you own a motor vehicle that has been modified to meet your, or a family members, disability needs, that vehicle is eligible to be tax exempt. The application, which can be found here /DocumentCenter/View/2299 as well as the Assessor Page of the website, needs to be submitted to the Assessor's Office by October 1st, along with an invoice, stating the modifications to the vehicle.
Personal Property Declarations are due in to the Assessor's Office by November 1st each year. If a request for an extension is submitted to, and approved by, the Assessor's Office, the due date is then December 15th.
If you are the owner of a business, that is no longer in operation in Westbrook, you must fill out a Close of Business Form, found here /DocumentCenter/View/32, or on the Assessor Page of the website, and return it to the Assessor's Office, by November 1st. Once it is returned, we will then remove the business from our records, so no further tax bills will be issued.
A. IF THE PARCELS OF LAND IN QUESTION ARE SIMPLY LOTS OF RECORD:
1. An attorney should be consulted for any and all real estate matters.
2. Straw man deeds should be executed. The straw man then executes a quit claim deed (with the legal description) describing the (formerly separate) parcels of land in question as one piece of land. The legal description, on that quit claim deed, must be re-written to encompass all combined parcels. That quit claim deed should also state that the intent and purpose of this quit claim deed is to combine previously separate (legally) described parcels into one (legally described) parcel of land. That deed must be filed on the Westbrook Land Records.
3. It is also recommended that a survey be filed on the Westbrook Land Records showing the former parcels of land as one parcel of land.
4. The Assessor’s Office will re-value, for the subsequent Grand List, the parcels of land in question.
2. An Affidavit of Title must be placed upon the Westbrook Land Records effectively merging the various parcels in question into one parcel.
B. IF THE PARCELS OF LAND IN QUESTION ARE SUBDIVIDED LOTS:
1. An attorney should be consulted for any and all real matters.
2. The property owner must have the legal status of the lot or lots terminated by the Planning and Zoning Commission. The property owner must formally request that the subdivision approval for the lot(s) in question be terminated.
3. Step 2 (in Section A above) must also be completed; Step 3 (in Section A above) is recommended.
4. The Assessor’s Office will re-value, for the subsequent Grand List, the lot(s) in question.