Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How did you arrive at the value on my automobile?


Connecticut Assessors are required to use the NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) appraisal guide for automobile valuations. Seventy percent (70%) of the NADA published clean retail selling price is used to calculate the assessed value.


Q: I no longer own a vehicle. How do I remove it from being taxed?


 Remove your plates and return them to the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Motor Vehicles will give you a receipt for the return of the plates. You can also mail your plates to the D.M.V.:

State of Connecticut
Department of Motor Vehicles
60 State Street
Wethersfield, CT 06109-1896
Attn: Plate return

Send a self addressed, stamped envelope and request that a receipt be sent to you.


Two Documents are needed to have a tax bill adjusted:

1. You MUST have a receipt for the return of the Connecticut Plates.

2. Document showing what happened to the vehicle, such as:


  • TRADED VEHICLE IN FOR A NEW VEHICLE - A copy of the contract for the new vehicle showing old vehicle as a trade in vehicle, or an odometer statement.
  • SOLD VEHICLE - A copy of the Bill of Sale, the Bill of Sale is located at the bottom of the Department of Motor Vehicle Registration.
  • JUNKED - A receipt from the auto wrecking company - identifying the Vehicle and the date taken.
  • REGISTERED OUT OF STATE - A copy of the new registration from the state in which the owner now resides. Bills will be pro-rated from the date of re-registration, not date moved.
  • TOTALED - Letter from the insurance company stating the date vehicle was totaled. It must state that the insurance company took possession of the vehicle.
  • DONATED - A letter from the charitable organization stating the date they took possession of the vehicle.
ALL PROOF MUST BE DATED AND HAVE THE MAKE, MODEL, YEAR AND VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER ON IT.


Connecticut State Statute 12-71c(b) states application for an adjustment must be made by the December 31st, which falls 27 months after the assessment year. 


Q: How do I appeal my Motor Vehicle assessment?


Motor vehicle appeals are heard in September of each year. You must appear before the Board of Assessment Appeals. Check with the Town Clerk's Office for their meeting dates.

Q: When and where can I file for Elderly Homeowner Tax Relief?


Applications for the Elderly Homeowners Tax Relief program can be filed annually between February 1st through May 15th in the Tax Benefit Coordinator's Office. The requirements to apply for tax relief are:
  • Must have been sixty-five years of age or 100% disabled at the close of the previous calendar year.
  • Must own Real Estate and be a resident of Bethel as of October 1st.
  • The income limit for applications filed in 2015 is $35,200 single and $42,900 for married. (This income includes Social Security Benefits)
  • Bring in a copy of your 2015 tax return and your SSA 1099 Social Security Income Report. If you are not required to file a tax return, bring in all documents pertaining to taxable income, along with your SSA 1099 Form.

Q: Is there a State Renter's Program?

Yes. The age requirement is 65 or you must be 100% disabled. Applications can be filed annually between April 1st and October 1st in the Tax Benefit Coordinator's Office. The income limit for applications filed in 2016 is $35,200 single and $42,900 for married including Social Security. The rent credit is based on income, rent and utilities paid for the preceding calendar year. 


Q: Does the Town of Bethel offer a Veteran's Exemption?


Yes. The Town of Bethel does offer a benefit of $1,500 off the Veteran's gross assessment. The Veteran has to file his or her DD-214 (Discharge papers) with the Town Clerk by September 30th. The veteran has to have served at least three months during a war period and have been Honorably discharged. Please contact the Assessor's Office for the dates of wars and other recognized military campaigns.

Q: Does the Town of Bethel offer a Local Option Veteran's Exemption Program?


Yes. The Town of Bethel does offer a Local Option Veteran's Program based on income. The application period is from February 1st until October 1st. This Local Option Veteran's Program has an income limit, for applications filed in 2016, of $60,200 if single and $67,900 if married. Income qualifications are established from a federal tax return and the SSA 1099 Social Security income report and/or all  income forms if a tax return will not be filed. Qualified applicants will receive an assessment reduction from their real estate assessment before taxes are calculated for the July tax bill.


Q: What Local Option Exemptions are available in Bethel?


  • EMT/Fireman Exemption - Please check with the Tax Collector's Office
  • Handicapped Equipped Vehicles - Must show proof from the dealer listing all special equipment installed in the vehicle, a letter from your physician attesting to your medical disability, a copy of the signed application returned to the Assessor's Office between October 1 and January 31st.
  • Blind Exemption - Additional $2,000 off the gross assessment. Proof of blindness must be provided to the Assessor's Office between February 1 and October 1st. Please contact the Tax Benefit Coordinator for the income requirements.
  • Totally Disabled Exemption - The local option is income based. Please contact the Tax Benefit Coordinator for the income requirements.

Q: When are Personal Property Declarations filed?


Personal Property declarations are due by November 1st of each year. Failure to file by November 1st will incur a 25% penalty.

Q: How do I appeal the assessment of my Real Estate or Personal Property?


You must file an application to the Assessor's Office to appear before the Board of Assessment Appeals. Applications must be received between February 1st and February 20th of each year. Meetings are held during the month of March.

Q: What is a Mill Rate?

In Connecticut, property tax rates are expressed in mills, or thousandths of a dollar. The Town of Bethel's current mill rate is 32.17 for Real Estate and Business Personal Property and 32. for Motor Vehicles on the 10/01/15 Grand List.


Q: How are mill rates and bills determined?


The budgeted revenue divided by the total assessed value of all property equals the mill rate. This mill rate is established when the townspeople vote to accept the budgeted revenue needed. Once the mill rate has been determined, the individual property's assessed value is multiplied by the mill rate to determine the tax owed.

Q: What is the assessment date in Bethel?


The uniform assessment date in the State of Connecticut is October 1st.

Q: What is revaluation?


Revaluation is “ A mass appraisal of all property within an assessment jurisdiction to equalize assessed values…”

As this definition indicates, the primary purpose of a revaluation is to eliminate any assessment inequities that may have developed since the implementation of a previous revaluation. This is accomplished by updating the assessments of real property to reflect their fair market values as of the date of the revaluation.

Q: When is the next revaluation for Bethel scheduled?


October 1st, 2017