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There are two ways to appeal a Personal Property Assessment:
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All personal property items used (full or part-time) in the conduct of the business including items donated, given to you or owned prior to starting your business, unregistered motor vehicle(s), out-of-state registered motor vehicle(s) that is operated in Wolcott, or horses.
Personal Property can be defined, in the most general terms, as anything and everything that is owned (excluding land and anything permanently affixed to the land or any interest in land). There are three Connecticut General Statues that help to define Personal Property:
Goods: Merchandise, wares, etc
Chattels: Any item that is movable or immovable property except real estate; an article of personal property.
Effects: Personal estate of property; though the term may include both real and personal property.
Generic or typical equipment and furniture that most businesses would have:
There are more examples on Pages 4, 5, and 6 of the Personal Property Declaration.
It would be extremely difficult to come up with one single definition of what a business is. Even if one could, that definition would have to be so very long and complicated that understanding it may be difficult. Perhaps the best way to answer that question is by asking two basic questions:
If you answered "YES" to Question Number 1, then you are in business. You are a business.
If you answered "YES" to Question Number 2, please see the item "COMPENSATION" below.
Some general indicators of whether you are in business or whether you are a business:
Instructions are on the 2nd Page of the Personal Property Declaration (PDF).
Yes. Declarations filed with "same as last year" are insufficient and shall be considered an incomplete declaration subject to a 25% penalty. A declaration not filed shall result in a value determined by the Assessor plus a 25% penalty will be applied to the total assessment.
The Declaration must be filed annually no later than November 1st (or the Monday following if November 1 falls on Saturday or Sunday) (CGS §12-42). The 2023 Declaration must either be hand delivered, by noon (noon), to the Assessor's Office no later than November 1st or have a U.S. Postal Service postmark (as defined in CGS §1-2a and as referenced in §12-41(d) on or before November 1st). Please note a postage meter machine in your office is not considered to be a U.S. Postal Service postmark.
All Declarations must be signed and notarization of signature may be required.
When 2023 Declarations are filed after November 1st and an extension has not been granted, a 25% penalty is applied to the total assessment. Mailed Declarations must have a USP.S. postmark of November 1st or before. When an extension is granted and the Declaration is not filed by the extension deadline, a 25% penalty is applied to the total assessment.
The Assessor may grant a filing extension for good cause. If an extension is needed, contact the Assessor in writing on or prior to November 1st stating the reason for the extension. The decision to grant an extension is the sole responsibility of the Assessor. There is no appeal.
A Declaration not filed shall result in a value determined by the Assessor plus a 25% penalty will be applied to the total assessment.
If you are a sole proprietor (that is, you personally own all the assets used in the conduct of your business) or you are one of the partners in a simple partnership (that is, your partnership was not created pursuant to the corporation laws of any state) your signature does not have to be notarized. As a sole proprietor or as one of the partners in a simple partnership, it is assumed that you have personal knowledge of the value of the assets used in the conduct of your business.
However, when the business is being conducted as an LLC, LP, LLP, PC, Corporation (Inc), Type "S" Corporation, or some other separate legal entity or individual, it is necessary to have the identity, authority, and knowledge of the signer sworn to by the notarization process. This is especially true when the name of the business is fictitious (i.e., when the name of the business bears no similarity with the name of the signer).
Section 12-50 CGS allows an "authorized agent" to file a personal property declaration on behalf of the "taxpayer". While you may be the "owner" of the LLC, LP, LLP, PC, Corporation (Inc), or Type "S" Corporation; it is the LLC, LP, LLP, PC, Corporation (Inc) or Type "S" Corporation that owns the assets used in the conduct of the business. Therefore it is the LLC, LP, LLP, PC, Corporation (Inc) or Type "S" Corporation that is the "taxpayer". Thus when someone signs for an LLC, LP, LLP, PC, Corporation (Inc) or Type "S" Corporation, they are, in fact, signing as an agent of that LLC, LP, LLP, PC, Corporation (Inc) or Type "S" Corporation.
Section 12-50 CGS also states, in part, such agent "shall make oath that he is authorized….and has knowledge of all taxable property…".
Section 3-94a (7) CGS states, in part, an "oath…means a notarial act…in which a notary public certifies that a person has made a vow in the presence of the notary public on penalty of perjury…"
Thus an agent's signature must be notarized because it is only through the act of notarization that an oath is made pursuant to Section 12-50 CGS and it is only through an oath that the Assessor can verify that the signer is authorized to be an agent and that he/she has knowledge of all taxable property as required in Section 12-50 CGS.
The oath (as provided through the act of notarization) is an acknowledgment that the person signing personally appeared before the notary, that he/she has authority to provide the information that appears on that personal property declaration and that he/she has knowledge of all taxable property owned.
Note: Failure to have the personal property declaration properly signed and/or notarized will result in a 25% penalty being applied to the total assessment.
Section 12-50. The list may be filed by a spouse, attorney or agent. The list of taxable property required to be filed annually by any taxpayer may be filed by the husband or wife or by an authorized agent or attorney of a taxpayer. Such husband or wife or agent or attorney shall make oath that he is authorized by the taxpayer to file such list and that he has knowledge of all taxable property of his principal subject to taxation in the town or municipality wherein the such list is filed.
Section 3-94a. Notaries Public. Definitions. (7) "Oath" or "affirmation" means a notarial act or part thereof in which a notary public certifies that a person has made a vow in the presence of the notary public on penalty of perjury. In the case of an oath, the vow shall include a reference to a Supreme Being.
Your cost information is confidential and not open to public inspection. The original acquisition cost should include any additional charges for transportation and installation. The original acquisition cost less the standard depreciation (as shown on Pages 4, 5, and 6) will determine the depreciated cost. The total depreciated cost times 70% will determine the gross assessment for that particular category of personal property. Include all assets that may have been fully depreciated, written off, or charged to expenses but are still owned. Computerized filings are acceptable as long as all the information is reported in this prescribed format. If more space is needed, then attach additional pages to the Declaration.
The original acquisition cost should include any additional charges for transportation and installation. The cost of the asset should be the cost of the item as new. This cost should be an arm's length value that has been neither discounted nor determined by an auction sale. When purchasing used equipment the value that is paid for the item is the depreciated amount not the original cost.
If you do not remember the item's original cost, then estimate its current value and put that number on the current (first) year line in the appropriate chart that appears on pages 4, 5 and 6.
If you do not know the item's original cost, then estimate its current value and put that number on the current (first) year line in the appropriate chart that appears on pages 4, 5 and 6.
No. Your cost information is confidential and not open to public inspection.
If, on or before October 1st, you sold, closed, or moved (out of Wolcott) the business noted on page 1, you must complete the Affidavit of Business Closed, Sold or Moved Out of Wolcott form and provide documentation either as to the new owner, the date the business ceased or your new address. Otherwise, the Assessor must assume that you still own taxable personal property and have only failed to declare it. Examples of documentation include a bill of sale, a Letter of Dissolution, a letter from your bank noting the date the account was closed, shipping invoices, etc.