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2009 Equalization Study

Annually Property Valuation and Review (PVR) conduct a study of all the grand lists of the state. This study is commonly called the “Equalization” study and its purpose is to derive estimates of the fair market value of the grand lists used to raise school taxes. The reference to equalization stems from the fact that most towns’ grand lists are not at 100 percent fair market value in any given year. If they were there would be no reason for the state to estimate market values. The study’s purpose is to bring all grand lists to 100 percent market value thereby “equalizing” all grand lists across the state.

PVR has been performing equalization studies since the early 1970’s. The results of the study are important because they have long served as a critical component in the distribution of state aid to education. With the passage of Acts 60 and 68, the results of the study are even more important as they are the basis for determining school districts’ state education tax rates.

All transactions for properties that sold more than once (and are arms-length) are included in the study.

PVR has revised it’s methodology for identifying “influential” sales. Influential sales are defined as sales that exert an undue influence on the overall study results. Sales identified as being influential (based on our statistical methodology that looks at how much the study results change with the removal of a sale) are removed from that year’s study. The change we made this year allows improved detection of influential sales in municipalities where their sales ratios display a high level of variability (i.e. CODs in excess of 20 percent).

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