Assessor updates council about property audits

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Plainville town assessor, Ann Marie Heering, briefed the council on the recently completed personal property audits done on 10 manufacturing companies in Plainville, during the meeting held on Tuesday, Feb. 18. Of the almost 79 manufacturers in town, 10 were randomly selected for the audit.

In early January, Heering’s office sent out tax bills totaling $240 million. The bills and fees were due by Friday, Jan. 31, and as of the presentation, the town had received $194 million from eight of the 10 manufacturing companies.

The assessor said that one of the companies has filed an appeal with the board of assessment appeals. Heering said that, after subtracting the fees used to secure the auditing firm, the town gained a net total of $230,467 in taxes through this process.

Heering explained that the State of Connecticut stopped auditing manufactorers in 2009, passing the responsibility along to the municipalities. Last year, the assessor approached the council, requesting $10,000 for this process, used to compensate the auditing firm with whom she worked to complete the process.

“Anyone can be audited at all, any company,” said Heering. “We have 1,100 companies in the town of Plainville, but I did decide to do the manufacturers first for the very reason that the state no longer does them.”

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After being selected the 10 manufacturers were notified of the audit via a letter, which also outlined the documents that would need to be provided—including three years’ worth of personal property declarations as well as their property field cards.

Audit results, she explained, were then reviewed by Heering before being sent to the companies. And after receiving their information, each company was encouraged to meet with Heering and the auditors to review the findings.

“That’s something that’s not usually done in the audit process, but it’s something that I feel is very, very important so it’s something I require of them,” said Heering. “I want the company to be able to come in, sit across, go over all of these results, answer any questions they may have, we can ask questions of them, before it’s finalized and before they receive a bill.”

Should Heering’s budgetary request for the same funds in the upcoming budget be approved, she intends to continue this process of auditing the personal property assets of manufacturing companies in Plainville.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at News@PlainvilleObserver.com.