An assessment, by law, must be at market value (a.k.a. full and fair cash value) as of January 1 of each year.
Every three years the Department of Revenue (D.O.R.) certifies that assessments are at market value by reviewing the sales data within the town. (Between the triennial certification periods assessed values are reviewed and adjusted if necessary. This does not have to be certified by the D.O.R.)
After assessments are approved by the state the “burden of proof” lies with the taxpayer to show that they are excessive. The overview by the D.O.R. is designed to insure that values are equitable and uniform. The level of assessment is measured by how closely they approximate market value. That is, are the assessments reasonably close to what the property can sell for in a “normal” transaction?
Assessment uniformity refers to the way in which all properties are valued using similar criteria and similar methodology.
Questions of overvaluation and/or disagreements with an assessment are handled through an abatement process.