Frequently Asked Questions

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Tax Collector Frequently Asked Questions

This information is provided to answer questions you may have regarding your tax obligations or the manner in which they are collected.

While we have attempted to anticipate most of your questions, more information can be obtained by contacting the Tax Collector's Department (203-341-1060). Questions related to tax balances due, amounts paid and interest charged should be directed to the Tax Collector's Department.

Remember that paying your taxes online is available to all taxpayers 24/7

Generally, questions related to assessed value, additions or deletions, benefit programs for the elderly or disabled and adjustments of assessed value should be directed to the Tax Assessor's Office (203-341-1070).

What do I own that is subject to taxes?

How is the tax (mill) rate established?

When should I expect my tax bill?

What about paying my sewer use/assessment bill? 

What is supplemental motor vehicle bill?

What if I dispose of a vehicle after Oct. 1?

Who do I pay if I move within Connecticut? 

When does my tax bill become delinquent? 

What is the best way to make payment? 

What if I am delinquent on my real estate taxes? 

How do I remove a motor vehicle from the tax rolls? 

What do I own that is subject to taxes ?

Three types of property are assessed and subject to taxes: Real Estate, Motor Vehicles, and Personal Property.

Real Estate: Any land or buildings you own fall under the category of Real Estate. Motor Vehicles: Registered or unregistered motorized or non-motorized vehicles (such as cars, trucks, motorcycles, and trailers) are considered Motor Vehicles for tax purposes. Personal Property: This is a very general category made up of machinery, equipment, furniture, and fixtures, either owned or leased by business and industry. Most residential taxpayers are not subject to Personal Property tax.

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How is the tax (mill) rate established ?  The Grand Levy is the amount of revenue in the Annual Town Budget, which must be raised by the property tax. The balance required is received from fees, state and federal assistance and miscellaneous revenue.

The Grand List is a listing of all taxable properties located within the town on October 1, of the grand list year. The property tax rate is expressed in mills or thousandths of a dollar. A tax rate (mill rate) of 19 mills is equivalent to $19 of taxes per $1,000 of assessed value. The tax rate is determined by dividing the Grand Levy by the Grand List.

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When should I expect my tax bill ?

Westport issues tax bills once a year.

Each tax bill totaling $100 or less is due in a single installment on July 1, with a 30-day grace period. All tax bills are addressed to property owners on the October 1 Grand List, unless the Tax Collector's Office receives specific instructions to send the bill elsewhere.

If you sold your real estate and receive a tax bill, please forward the bill to the new owner, or return it to the Tax Office with mailing instructions.

If you no longer own the motor vehicle on which the tax bill is based, contact the Assessor's Office. Remember that when you receive your tax bill, nine months of the year covered by the bill have already passed. Never ignore a tax bill. Taxes will remain due and interest will continue to accumulate until the bill is paid or removed by the Assessor. If you fail to receive your tax bill, call the Tax Collector's Office (203-341-1060). Failure to receive a tax bill does not exempt taxes or interest. You are responsible for obtaining your tax bill and paying the taxes on time.

When are my sewer use/assessment bills due ? The sewer use bills are now due quarterly; on the same tax due dates in July, October, January and April.

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What is a supplemental motor vehicle bill ? Vehicles registered between October 2, and the following July 31, will appear on a "Supplemental Motor Vehicle List" provided to the Assessor by the Dept. of Motor Vehicles. The assessed value of each "Supplemental" vehicle is prorated based upon the month of registration. If you traded in a vehicle on the new vehicle, all taxes must be paid on the vehicle traded in. You will receive a credit on the Supplemental bill based on the total taxes billed on the original vehicle. Supplemental Motor Vehicle bills are sent out in December and are due in one installment on January 1.

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What if I dispose of a vehicle after Oct. 1st ?  You may be entitled to a credit or refund, if your vehicle is sold and not replaced, destroyed, stolen or removed from Connecticut and registered in another state. Your tax bill will be prorated by the Assessor's Office based on the month in which the vehicle was disposed of.

request for adjustment must be made in the Assessor's Office and written documentation regarding the disposal must be provided. Application for adjustment should be made as soon as the vehicle is disposed of since there is a statutory time limit on motor vehicle adjustments. Failure to apply on time will result in denial of the pro-rata adjustment.

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Who do I pay if I move within Connecticut ? Motor Vehicle Taxes are due to the municipality where you lived on Oct. 1, so even if you moved by the time you received your tax bill the following July, you must still pay the Town where you resided on Oct. 1.

Make sure you notify the Dept. of Motor Vehicles as soon as you move and also let the Assessor's and Tax Collector's Offices have your new address as well. All Delinquent Motor Vehicle Taxes are reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles. You will not be able to renew or register any vehicle in your name, until all taxes, interest, and collection costs are paid in full.

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When does my tax bill become delinquent ? Taxes must be paid within one month of the due date to avoid penalty interest. Delinquent taxes are subject to interest at the rate 1 1/2% per month ($2 minimum), or any part thereof, from the original due date of the tax. In addition to the interest penalty, all lien fees on real estate and collection costs on motor vehicle and personal property taxes are the obligation of the taxpayer.

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What is the best way to make payment ? If you do not escrow your tax payments with your bank, choose one of the following methods to pay your taxes:  Online with E-Check or Credit Card:

Visit www.westportct.gov/paytaxes. The convenience fee for e-checks is $.95 per transaction total. Payment by credit card includes a $2.95% fee per transaction total. Payment by VISA debit card includes a $3.95 flat fee. Mail: Tax Collector, P.O. Box 350, Westport, CT, 06881. You must mail the appropriate tax bill for the period being paid. Online Bill Pay: When paying through your bank's online bill pay feature, you should include your bill List number. This number changes with each new Tax Year payment period and with each payment type (property, motor vehicle, sewer, personal property or supplemental tax) and therefore, each scheduled payment needs to have an updated List number to reference. In Person: Tax Collector's Office , Room 109 in Town Hall at 110 Myrtle Avenue during regular business hours, 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday through Friday. You must bring the appropriate tax bill for the period being paid. You can look online or call if you are missing a bill. Send a self-addressed postage paid envelope if you want a receipt sent to you. However, you can use your cancelled check as a receipt.

 

Make checks payable to: "Town of Westport."

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What if I am delinquent on my real estate taxes ? The Tax Office sends out a "Delinquency Notice " after the second installment as a reminder. In addition, before the end of each fiscal year, real estate liens are filed against all properties on which there is either a delinquent real estate tax,or sewer use balance.

At least fifteen days prior to the filing of these liens, a notice of intent to lien is sent to each delinquent taxpayer. If payment is not made, a lien is filed with the Town Clerk's Office. There is a $24 charge to release each lien, regardless of the delinquent amount due. At the time of payment, all interest, taxes, and fees must be paid before the lien can be released.

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