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Two forms of proof are required in order to remove, or pro-rate, a vehicle you no longer own, from the Grand List. The first form of proof to be presented, MUST be, the plate receipt from DMV showing that you have cancelled the plate. This can be done online at https://www.ct.gov/dmv/cwp/view.asp?a=803&q=569570, or done at the DMV itself. The second form of proof, will be something that tells us what you did with the vehicle. This could be a Bill of Sale, Trade-in Papers, Out of State Registration, etc. A full list of acceptable forms of proof can be found here /DocumentCenter/View/48. If you do not have a copy of any of these documents, a Motor Vehicle Affidavit, may be filled out and returned to the Assessor's Office /DocumentCenter/View/42.
You must be a town of Westbrook resident as of October 1st to receive a Veteran’s Exemption.
Regular Veteran’s Exemption: To qualify for a regular Veteran’s Exemption, the Veteran must have served at least 90 days during wartime and received an honorable discharge. Original discharge papers (DD-214) or separation papers must be filed with the Town Clerk’s Office prior to October 1st. There is no income criteria for this exemption. The benefit takes $6,000 off of the assessment of your home. If you do not own your home, the benefit is taken off the most expensive vehicle(s) that you own.
Disabled Veteran’s: Disabled Veterans who receive eligibility letters directly from the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs may be entitled to increased property tax exemptions for service related disabilities. In order to receive this exemption, the veteran must file the disability letter with the Assessor’s Office.
Additional Veteran’s Exemptions: An additional benefit is available for Veterans with incomes under a certain amount (the amount changes every year, so contact the Assessor's Office for this information). The filing period is February 1st thru October 1st. Qualifying income includes your form 1040 tax return, if filed, and/or SSA 1099 – Social Security Statement. Additional Veteran’s Benefits double the regular Veterans Benefits.
Qualifying income for 100% V.A. Disabled Veterans is $18,000 for a single person and $21,000 for a married couple. Social security income is not considered.
A widow/widower is entitled to keep 100% of their spouse’s Veterans Benefit.
A Homeowner who is 65 years of age or older, and who's income is under a certain amount, is qualified for the following tax breaks:
The Elderly/Disabled Homeowner Program: Runs between February 1 and May 15 each year. The applicant must be 65 years of age to apply or any age if they are permanently and totally disabled and qualify with the state income limits.
Please bring a copy of your form 1040 and/or form SSA-1099 when applying. This program is also called the Circuit Breaker Program and must be filed every two years. Along with the Homeowner’s age or disability requirements, they must fall within the income limits (these limits change every year, so contact the Assessor’s Office for this information). If you are unsure if you qualify for the upcoming year, please call the Assessor’s Office 860-399-3016 or 860-399-3045.
The Senior Tax Freeze Program: Wherein your taxes can be frozen the first year you qualify. From then on, as long as your income criteria does not exceed the state income limits, and you do not increase the value of your home by way of additions or outbuildings, your taxes will not increase. If a Homeowner is on the Elderly Homeowner Program (Circuit Breaker), their taxes can be frozen and the forgiven taxes do NOT have to be repaid when they sell their home.
If the Homeowner does not qualify for the Circuit Breaker Program, the Homeowner may still qualify for the Freeze Program; however, in that event a lien will be placed on the property in the amount of the taxes not paid, and when the property is sold, the lien amount must be repaid to the town.
The total income is calculated from the IRS 1040 form line 20a social security benefits, and line 37 adjusted gross income. If the applicant does not file an income tax return and has social security as their only yearly income, then a copy of the form SSA-1099 – Social Security Benefit Statement will be required, along with any other 1099s received for the year.
Totally Disabled Tax Exemption: This program takes $1,000 off of the assessment of your home. If you do not own your home, the exemption comes off of your most expensive vehicle. Along with the application, proof of eligibility must be submitted as well. This can be an award letter from Social Security, the Department of Veteran's Affairs, or any other Federal, State or Local Government Retirement or Disability Plan. If over the age of 65, a Physician's Certificate, with a Doctor's signature may be submitted in place of the award letter. The Application and the Physician's Certificate can be found here /DocumentCenter/View/2298, as well as the Assessor Page of the website.
Elderly/Disabled Homeowner Program: Runs between February 1 and May 15, each year. The applicant must be a Homeowner 65 years of age to apply or any age if they are permanently and totally disabled and qualify with the state income limits. Please bring a copy of your form 1040 and/or form SSA-1099 when applying. This program is also called the Circuit Breaker program and the application must be filed every two years. Along with the Homeowner’s age or disability requirements, the applicant(s) must fall within qualifying income limits (these limits change every year, so contact the Assessor for this information).
Ambulatory Vehicle Benefit: If you own a motor vehicle that has been modified to meet your, or a family members, disability needs, that vehicle is eligible to be tax exempt. The application, which can be found here /DocumentCenter/View/2299 as well as the Assessor Page of the website, needs to be submitted to the Assessor's Office by October 1st, along with an invoice, stating the modifications to the vehicle.
Personal Property Declarations are due in to the Assessor's Office by November 1st each year. If a request for an extension is submitted to, and approved by, the Assessor's Office, the due date is then December 15th.
If you are the owner of a business, that is no longer in operation in Westbrook, you must fill out a Close of Business Form, found here /DocumentCenter/View/32, or on the Assessor Page of the website, and return it to the Assessor's Office, by November 1st. Once it is returned, we will then remove the business from our records, so no further tax bills will be issued.
The majority of streetlights currently used in Westbrook are High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lights mounted on wooden utility poles owned by Eversource or Frontier. The remaining fixtures have bulbs mounted in lantern style fixtures on metal poles in newer subdivisions or metal halide fixtures like those on Flat Rock Place leading to the Westbrook Outlets. While HPS has been one of the most common streetlight technologies across the country for decades, it has several drawbacks. HPS streetlights are not energy efficient, cast an orange light under which it is difficult to see color accurately and tend to produce light that is not of optimal quality. The other decorative type lights also lack energy efficiency.
Light Emitting Diodes (LED) are a technology that has been used in solid state lighting for decades. In the last decade, LED technology has advanced to streetlight applications. LED streetlights are extremely energy efficient, have long life spans, and produce a better color and quality of light than typical High Pressure Sodium (HPS) streetlights.
Compared to the more orange light (2200-Kelvin on a color scale) that High Pressure Sodium (HPS) fixtures produce, LED streetlight fixtures are a cooler, white light under which it is easier to see true colors. Westbrook’s Energy Committee plans to use whiter 3000-Kelvin LEDs, similar to those in Old Saybrook and Madison, not the 4000-Kelvin LEDs in Clinton, which are more blue-white. The American Medical Association has recommended 3000-Kelvin for streetlight LEDs and Eversource also plans to install 3000-Kelvin fixtures in communities not installing their own LED fixtures.
Although the new LED fixtures produce a different looking light than the HPS fixtures they replaced, they are not actually dimmer. HPS fixtures tend to produce a bright spot directly underneath the fixture that also spills onto adjacent properties, whereas LEDs create a more even pool of light across the ground or roadway. HPS fixtures also let light escape upwards, which impacts the night sky, and the LED light distribution avoids uplighting entirely.
Wireless controls cost up to 40% more, extending the expected payback period, and are not yet eligible for a rebate from the State’s Energy Efficiency Fund. The Town expects to receive an approximate $50,000 rebate for the LEDs from this Fund, which receives revenues from the “Combined Public Benefit Charge” that every resident and business pays on their monthly electric and/or natural gas bills. The Town is purchasing cobra-head fixtures that will be control-ready so we can take advantage of the technology when the cost comes down to add wireless controls or other options. Most LED fixtures the Town is purchasing will have a manual dimming control installed, which will allow raising the lumen output over time to offset natural declines in output as dirt accumulates and the fixtures age. Solar-powered LED streetlights cost three to four times more than standard LED fixtures, which would not be economical, extending the payback period well into the expected 25-year life of the LED fixtures. Existing solar-powered fixtures also produce less available light than the Town plans for fixtures on its State routes and at intersections.
Westbrook is interested in reducing its energy consumption and maintenance costs associated with street lighting. Installing LED streetlight fixtures will save energy, require less maintenance, and will provide residents with better light quality on streets and roadways. The estimated savings after the payback period amounts to over $1 million over the life of the LED fixtures, primarily due to lower maintenance/delivery charges. Dozens of other communities in Connecticut and more in other states have assumed maintenance responsibilities and installed LED streetlight fixtures.
Replacing HPS fixtures with LEDs would reduce energy consumption (supply charges) but maintenance (delivery) charges would increase, offsetting the savings and keeping bills comparable to current ones. In addition, the cost to purchase the fixtures from Eversource increases each time another community purchases theirs, since Eversource’s street lighting costs are spread over the remainder.
This project will involve 625 streetlights throughout Westbrook, 523 of which are standard HPS streetlights (called “cobra heads.”) as well as 102 decorative style fixtures in newer subdivisions and on Flat Rock Place. Those privately maintained, which are described in the article in the summer issue of Westbrook Events, are the responsibility of others.
The project is expected to save Westbrook approximately $70,000 in the first twelve months after all the LEDs are installed and likely more over time as Eversource’s rates rise. The Town’s street lighting bills increased by 43% between Fiscal Years 2013 and 2016 and totaled nearly $89,000 in FY 2017.
The project began in April 2017, with the Town’s Energy Committee evaluating the benefits of installing LEDs. An audit of the fixtures the Town is purchasing was performed in April 2018 and locations were plotted for transfer to the Town’s Geographic Information System (GIS). Pilot fixtures for resident feedback are scheduled to be installed the first week of July 2018 and the final LED streetlight installations should occur by September.
The Board of Finance and Board of Selectmen approved the project’s expenditure and the contractor selected at their meetings last November and the vote to approve the project was unanimously approved by town residents at a Town Meeting last December. The Town purchased the existing high-pressure cobra head fixtures on utility poles and decorative streetlights from Eversource in mid-April, 2018 and will pay Siemens for the LED installations once they are complete. The total cost before the expected rebate of some $50,000 was approved at $387,000 and a $5,000 grant that the Energy Committee earned will be used to purchase spare fixtures.
Three cobra head fixtures are being installed near the Town Beach. One 4000-Kelvin fixture is at the entrance to the parking lot, a 3000 Kelvin residential street fixture is on Seaside Avenue near the basketball backstops in the parking lot, and a brighter 3000-Kelvin fixture (for main roads) at the corner of Seaside Avenue and Tarpon Avenue. Residential intersections will have fixtures with an illumination level in between these two demo LEDs. Retrofits for the lantern-style decorative fixtures will be installed at the intersection of Fairview and Halls Roads and at the end of Halls Road. One fixture on Flat Rock Place will also have its metal halide fixture retrofitted with an LED. Poles on Seaview Avenue with LEDs have yellow tape around them for easy identification. Residents may provide feedback on color and light distribution during July via a survey to be posted on the Energy Committee’s web site.
The existing High Pressure Sodium (HPS) streetlights with aluminum bodies will be recycled in accordance with all federal and state environmental guidelines.
The Energy Committee held an informational workshop last November and provided a slide presentation at the Town Meeting approving the project last December 11th. Articles in Westbrook Events and the Harbor News have kept readers abreast of developments with the project. An additional informational workshop is planned for July.
As detailed in the summer issue of Westbrook Events (green bordered cover), the Town’s Department of Public Works (DPW) will relay residents’ reports to Siemens for attention. Outages in HPS cobra head fixtures in the early months of Town ownership will be addressed as appropriate but not those that fail in the late summer leading up to full LED replacements/retrofits.
Visit the Registrar of Voters webpage: Register or Update Registration
The Transfer Station is open Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
The Town no longer issues stickers for transfer station/beach stickers.
You will need to show one of the following: drivers license (valid), tax bill or mail.
Call DPW’s Colleen Topitzer during normal business hours from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at (860) 552-4496 to report streetlight outages.
When calling in for an outage please supply house number, street address, pole number.
No, the Westbrook Senior Center is a welcome place for anyone regardless of their hometown.
The Senior Center is open to all older adults over the age of 60.
No, the Senior Center is open to all at no charge.
Tax bills can be paid using cash, a check or a credit card. There is a 2.5% fee when using a credit card and a $2.00 fee for a bank check.
Payments can be mailed to the Tax Collector's Office, dropped in the outside drop box located at the front door of the Westbrook Town Hall, paid in person or additionally, paid online at http://www.westbrookct.us.
If paying in person, be sure to bring your entire bill with you.
If paying by mail, enclose the entire bill along with a self-addressed stamped envelope along with your check - a receipt will be mailed to you.
For any given year:
IF either of these dates fall on a Saturday or a Sunday, then the last day to pay is the Monday that immediately follows.
IF you bank online, there is no documentation for your payment. Your payment may be considered late and interest will be charged accordingly since State Statutes require a postmark.
IF you drop your payment in the drop box at the front door of the town hall, it will be considered an on-time payment if the following business day is not past the due-date.
Taxes that are not paid on time will be subject to a $2.00 minimum or 1.5% interest on unpaid tax for each month the bill goes unpaid - retroactive to the original due date.
This is per Connecticut State Statute §12-146.
Real Estate liens by Connecticut State Statute §12-175 must be placed with the Town Clerk no later than 2 years from the first due date.
In Westbrook, "Notice with Intent to Lien" notices are sent out at the beginning of April of each year. It is for taxes that were due on July 1st of the previous year.
If taxes are not paid by May 30th, a Real Estate Lien will be filed with the Westbrook Town Clerk.
It is your responsibility to call the tax collector's office at (860) 399-3043 and obtain your tax bill. Failure to receive a tax bill does NOT invalidate the bill or any interest which may accrue. This is per Connecticut State Statute §12-130.
You must notify the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 48 hours so future tax bills can be sent to your proper (new) address.
Since taxes are in arrears, you should notify the Westbrook tax office.
Motor Vehicle bills are based on any given October 1. For example: if you live in Westbrook on October 1st but move to Middletown on October 2nd, you tax bill is due in full to Westbrook. Failure to receive a tax bill does NOT invalidate the bill or any interest which may accrue. This is per Connecticut State Statute §12-130.
If you no longer escrow your taxes, it is your responsibility to notify the tax office and request a bill.
Banks do not notify the tax office when they are no longer escrowing for any particular property.
Any outstanding taxes must be paid before a vehicle can be registered:
If you sold your car and turned your license plates in at the Department of Motor Vehicles, get a receipt. The Assessor will need that receipt to adjust your bill to reflect only the months you actually owned the car. If you lost, or did not keep, your Department of Motor Vehicle receipt, please contact the Assessor's office (860) 399-3045) to discuss what documentation is acceptable to prove you no longer own the vehicle.
The mill rate is the amount of tax payable per dollar of the assessed value of a property.
The mill rate is based on "mills." It is a figure that represents the amount per $1,000 (1/1,000) of the assessed value of property, which is used to calculate the amount of property tax.
The mill rate is typically set in May of each year following the passage of the annual budget.
At The Town Clerk's Office. They are available until 4:00 p.m. on Monday November 5, 2018.
This new State of Connecticut website allows you to view real-time election/primary results for Westbrook and the entire State!
You can also go to : https://www.politico.com/election-results/2018/
You must first complete the Absentee Ballot Application (Form ED-3) which is available in English and in Spanish.
The form can be obtained in person at the Town Clerk's Office or by going to: https://portal.ct.gov/SOTS/Election-Services/Voter-Information/Absentee-Voting.
Once your application is completed, it must be taken to the Westbrook Town Clerk's Office with your photo ID where you can obtain an absentee ballot. The last day to accept Absentee voting is Monday, November 5, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.
You can contact the Town Clerk's Office at 860-399-3044 or the Registrars of Voters Office at 860-399-3042.