Climate Change and Property Values
Flooded Homes

The September 12, 2022 issue of the Virginia Mercury reports that "as sea level rise shifts tidal lines along the nation's coast, local governments face potentially steep drops in tax revenue as a sizeable amount of once-taxable land is subject to flooding."

New England certainly faces this problem. For example, some of the most valuable properties in Connecticut lie along the Long Island Sound coast line with waterfront properties from Greenwich to Pawcatuck valued at billions of dollars and paying millions of dollars in local property taxes.

As the Sound's level rises and properties shrink, structures will either be lost to the encroaching waves or forced to move back inland. Roads and infrastructure can't be easily moved and will be washed away.

While comparable sales data for waterfront properties has yet to demonstrate the impact from climate change phenomena, it seems to only be a matter of time for this issue to be addressed.

At this point, determining the market value of properties with structures eventually threatened by rising sea levels should take this challenge into account.

Posted in Property Tax

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