TOWN OF WINCHESTER
PHONE: (860) 379-4474
FAX: (860) 738-6597
Arlene M. Boutin, CCMC, Collector of Revenue
Due to short staffing office hours during the week of December 8 thru 12 will be Monday thru Thursday 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm. the office will be closed Friday December 12, 2014.
NEW ITEM - YEAR END TAX INFORMATION IS NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE FOR TAXPAYER CONVENIENCE TO LOOK UP THEIR TAX INFORMATION FOR IRS REPORTING. TO ACCESS THIS INFORMATION, CLICK ON ONLINE TAX PAYMENT/TAX BILL INQUIRY LINK TO ENTER TAX DATABASE.
TAX OFFICE OFFICE HOURS:
(Note: If holiday week, see Town Calendar for holiday office hours)
Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Friday 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
TO AVOID LONG LINES, TAXPAYERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO MAIL THEIR PAYMENTS, PAY ONLINE (PAY TAXES ONLINE LINK ON TOWN HOMEPAGE), OR DROP THEIR PAYMENTS IN A SEALED ENVELOPE IN THE DROP BOX LOCATED OUTSIDE THE TAX OFFICE.
FAILURE TO RECEIVE A TAX BILL DOES NOT RELIEVE A TAXPAYER FROM THE REQUIREMENT TO PAY INTEREST AND PENALTIES AS PER CONNECTICUT STATE STATUTES 12-130
CURRENT TAX PAYMENT NOTES:
TOWN OF WINCHESTER WEB-BASED ONLINE TAX PAYMENTS:
The Town of Winchester now has our tax information online for taxpayers to look up their tax bills that are due as well as three years of paid tax history.
If the tax bill you received indicates "BACK TAXES DUE", please utilize the online tax inquiry link to look up your delinquent tax amounts due. As per Connecticut State Statute 12-144b, any monies received must be applied to oldest tax bills first.
PLEASE NOTE: Receipt of Confirmation number showing payment initiated via the web-based system for tax payments, is not a final guarantee of payment being credited to your account. If funds do not exist in the account (provided by you the taxpayer) for any reason, (NSF, INCORRECT NUMBER, etc) it is considered an uncollected payment and therefore subject to all interest and fees in accordance with Connecticut State Statutes. It is the taxpayer's responsibility to verify that all payments initiated have cleared their account.
ONLINE BANKING TAX PAYMENTS (Remitted to the Town of Winchester by your Banking institution via your online banking account)
In an effort to streamline the process of the increasing being made through a taxpayer's online banking process, we require the following information to be input accurately into your online banking system to insure proper credit to your account:
1. Pay each bill separately - BE SURE TO USE THE LIST NUMBER EXACTLY AS LISTED ON YOUR BILL, to insure proper credit to your account. (Please do not use old account numbers when sending electronic checks for payment)
2. Make checks payable to: TOWN OF WINCHESTER
3. WHEN PAYING THROUGH YOUR ONLINE BANKING, PLEASE DO NOT USE THE BOSTON MAILING ADDRESS. ALL ELECTRONIC CHECKS MUST BE MAILED DIRECTLY TO THE TAX OFFICE AT 338 MAIN ST., WINSTED CT FOR OFFICE PROCESSING.
4. If an electronic check is received AFTER the grace period has expired, interest will be assessed as of the date the payment is RECEIVED in accordance with Connecticut State Statute 12-146. Please allow ample time for mail delivery to avoid interest charges since electronic checks are mailed with no US Postmark date to refer to.
If a payment is received without specific account identification on the check we receive, the check may be returned to maker. Interest and fees will be due as applicable per state law. Please be sure to use exact account number information (exactly as listed on your bill) on your check so payment can be applied correctly.
Payments received from online banking accounts will be posted as of the date the check is received, regardless of date on the check. Per Connecticut State Statute 12-146: "No tax or installment thereof shall be construed to be delinquent under the provisions 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, BEARS A POSTMARK SHOWING THE DATE within the time allowed by statute for the payment of such tax or installment."
GENERAL TAX INFORMATION
The Grand List is compiled by the Assessor on all real estate, personal property and automobiles that are owned on October 1st of each year.
The Town's annual budget is adopted to cover expenses on a fiscal year, which is from July 1st through June 30th.
MILL RATE INFORMATION:
The current mill rate as of July 1, 2014 is set for 31.91 for Grand List year 2013 as adopted by Board of Selectman. This means that a taxpayer will pay $31.91 per thousand dollars of assessed property. (Example: A Property assessed at $100,000 will have an annual tax bill of $3,191.)
The Town of Winchester will receive an estimated $9,822,143 in State assistance in the 2013-2014 fiscal year. Without this aid, the mill rate would have been 45.47 mils.
The Grand List of October 1, 2012 is the basis for generating the tax bills for the fiscal year July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. Tax bills have been mailed, after the mill rate was set by the Board of Selectman. Both the January and July tax bill are mailed in June. THERE IS NO ADDITIONAL BILLING FOR THE JANUARY INSTALLMENT.
Taxes are due on July 1 and January 1 for Real Estate: July 1 for Motor Vehicle and Personal Property, with a 30-day grace period on each due date. Taxes unpaid after 30 days become delinquent and are subject to interest at 1-1/2% per month (18% annually) from the due date until the bill is paid in full. The minimum interest charge is $2.00. Any bill that is $100 or less, is due and payable in one installment on July 1.
If you pay by mail, send the proper copy of the bill with your check. If a receipt is desired, send a stamped self-addressed envelope with your payment. PLEASE DO NOT USE STAPLES ON ANY CHECK OR TAX BILL.
DELINQUENT MOTOR VEHICLE TAXES ARE TO BE PAID ONLY IN CASH OR BY BANK CHECK OR MONEY ORDER, PER STATE LAW, P.A. 84-257. ABSOLUTELY NO MOTOR VEHICLE CLEARANCE WILL BE ISSUED IF PAYMENT IS MADE WITH PERSONAL CHECK. We do not accept tax payment by credit card over the phone.
PLEASE NOTE: As stated in Connecticut State Statutes Sec. 12-135, delinquent tax bills may be turned over to a State Marshall for collection. Should this action become necessary, taxpayers are responsible for all collection fees incurred. This action may be taken by the Tax Office on any tax bills that remain unpaid after all internal efforts have been exhausted to collect payment.
INCOME TAX INFORMATION:
Tax Information can be obtained by utilizing the Online Tax Payments/Tax Bill Inquiry link located on Town of Winchester website (www.townofwinchester.org/valuable links option on homepage). Any tax information that is requested to be researched by the tax office must be requested in writing along with a stamped self-addressed envelope. Copies can also be picked up at the tax office during normal business hours. Please include $.50 per copy. WE DO NOT PROVIDE THIS INFORMATION OVER THE PHONE.
As prescribed in the State of CT General Statues, the following are the duties/restrictions of the Tax Collector:
The office of the Tax Collector must adhere strictly to procedures set out in the Connecticut General Statues. Municipalities have no powers of taxation other than those specifically given by the Statutes.
The Tax Collector does not have the authority to waive the interest due on a delinquent tax.
Whether or not the taxpayer receives the bill sent by the Tax Collector, the taxpayer is still liable for the original bill plus any delinquent interest and lien fees accrued at the time of payment.
When a partial payment is received, the Tax Collector must apply the payment to the oldest outstanding bill. In addition, the payment must be applied first to interest, next to principal and last to lien fees.
GENERAL ASSESSMENT INFORMATION
Real estate is assessed at 70% of Market Value as of October 1, 2012. Our last revaluation became effective with the October 1, 2012 Grand List.
MOTOR VEHICLE TAX INFORMATION:
A tax jurisdiction is considered to be your town of residency, or if a nonresident, the point from which the vehicle most frequently leaves and to which the vehicle most frequently returns and is garaged overnight.
Motor Vehicles are assessed at 70% of market value as of October 1. Any motor vehicle registered on October 1 will receive a tax bill that is due on the following July 1. Vehicles registered between October 2 and July 31, are pro-rated and Supplemental motor vehicle taxes will become due January 1. NOTE: Vehicles cannot be re-registered until taxes are paid. Motor Vehicles are subject to a local property tax under Connecticut state law, whether registered or not, as well as by taxing districts within a municipality. If you do not register a motor vehicle but retain ownership, you must annually file a declaration form with your assessor between October 1 and November 1.
Supplemental Motor Vehicles
Supplemental motor vehicles are vehicles which were not registered on October 1st, but are registered subsequent to October 1st and prior to August 1st. Motor vehicles taxes are prorated from the month registered through September at the following percentages of assessed value:
Supplemental motor vehicle bills become due on January 1st.
MOTOR VEHICLE ADJUSTMENTS
In order to help the assessor in removing a motor vehicle from the grand list the following forms of proof must specifically identify the vehicle in question by make, year and identification number.
1) Plate receipt from DMV indicating that the registration has been cancelled, lost or stolen.
2) ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
a. Copy of Bill of Sale (The bill of sale is now on the bottom of vehicle owners registration form and transfer information must be recorded on the back of the registration form before being submitted to DMV-therefore the seller's obligation is to provide a copy of the signed registration form along with the plate receipt to the Assessor.)
b. Copy of Transfer of Title (The seller must provide the assessor with a copy of the signed title and the plate receipt).
c. Out of State registration - Proof of residency and a copy of registration showing the date the vehicle was registered outside the State of Connecticut along with the plate receipt.
d. Stolen Vehicle - a statement from the insurance company indicating that the vehicle was stolen and NOT RECOVERED. Owner must file a lost or stolen plate form with the DMV.
e. Totaled vehicle - statement from the insurance company indicating that the vehicle was totaled. If owner did not return plate than he/she must file a lost or stolen plate form with the DMV.
f. Junked vehicle - a notarized receipt from junkyard in addition to the plate receipt.
g. Trade-in Vehicle - a copy of the purchase agreement identifying trade-in vehicle and plate receipt. NOTE: All information must be DATED and have the VEHICLE ID NUMBER on all documentation.
PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX INFORMATION:
Personal Property must be declared to the Assessor during the month of October each year. There is a 25% penalty for non-declaration. Personal Property includes, but is not limited to, unregistered Motor Vehicles, business equipment, and machinery.
Board of Assessment Appeals meets in February (Real Estate, and Personal Property assessment appeals) and September (Motor Vehicle ONLY) to hear appeals from assessed value. It is the taxpayer's responsibility to contact the Assessor's office in mid-January and mid-August to set up an appointment with the Board of Appeals.
Exemptions - Veterans with wartime service are entitled to exemptions. Veterans discharges (DD-214) must be on file with the Town Clerk on or before October 1st to qualify. Additional exemptions are available for the elderly, blind, Social Security disabilities, farm machinery. Call the Assessor's Office for details.
Questions concerning assessments, exemptions and mailing address changes should be directed to the assessor's office (860-379-5461) before payment.
Sewer Assessment bills are sent in March for payment on April 1st. (Wakefield Blvd residents only) As with all tax payments, there is a 30-day grace period.
WATER & SEWER USE
As of July 1, 1998, Water & Sewer bills are due in quarterly installments. Payments are due August 1, November 1, February 1, & May 1. As with all tax payments there is a 30-day grace period. Any questions concerning meter readings or mail address changes should be directed to Dept. of Public Works at 379-4101.
To download a change of address form, please click here:
Address changes should be made promptly to the following departments to insure the correct mailing of tax bills:
Real Estate & Personal Property Bills, notify Assessor at (860) 379-5461
Water & Sewer bills, notify Dept. of Public Works at (860) 379-4101
Motor Vehicle Tax Bills - notify Dept of Motor Vehicles promptly to change both license and registration information. This can be done online at http://www.ct.gov/dmv
TAX BILLS RETURNED FOR INCORRECT ADDRESSES:
A NUMBER OF TAX BILLS ARE GENERALLY RETURNED TO THE TAX OFFICE FOR INCORRECT ADDRESS, LACK OF FORWARDING ADDRESS, ETC. AFTER A MASS MAILING OF TAX BILLS. ANYONE NOT RECEIVING A TAX BILL SHOULD COME TO THE TAX OFFICE TO SEE IF IT HAS COME BACK WITH THE RETURNED MAIL, OR GET A COPY OF THE BILL FOR THEIR RECORDS. TO INSURE PROMPT RECEIPT OF TAX BILLS AND AVOID DELINQUENT INTEREST CHARGES, TAXPAYERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO CHANGE BOTH THEIR REGISTRATION AND LICENSE AT THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES WHEN A CHANGE OF ADDRESS HAS OCCURRED. A LIST OF TAX BILLS RETURNED TO TAX OFFICE IS AVAILABLE BY ACCESSING LINK LISTED UNDER TAX COLLECTOR'S DEPARTMENT ON LEFT HAND SIDE OF PAGE.