The mil rate (or tax rate) will be 19.38 or four cents below last year’s rate. How is this possible? At budget time wasn’t it quoted to be an increase to 19.63? Yes, but two factors drove this:
1. The increased value of the community, which is a combination of new value or what I call “new lumber” and market demand or what people are willing to pay for homes in Saco. This latter number is continuing to increase here in Saco and by law, municipalities have to assess properties within 91% and 106% percent of the market rate. My initial assumptions at the time budget development were below what is actually being reported;
2. Through the state budget process, the legislature moved additional revenues towards education and this year, 50% of those revenues are to be used for property tax relief. For Saco, that’s an additional $355,000 in revenue offsetting the amount that would have otherwise been charged to the property owner.
Do you think your property’s value on your tax bill is too high? Here are the steps you can take:
- Speak with an assessor to collect evidence about the value of your building. Call the Assessing Department and provide this background information. The Assessing Department will do its best to resolve any inconsistencies at this step if the proper evidence is provided, but there is a presumption of correctness on the part of the assessor. A property owner’s personal opinion that the property assessment is too high is an insufficient basis for granting abatement, so please bring documentation.
- If the conflict is not resolved in Step 1, the assessor can provide you a formal Application for Abatement of Property Taxes. This application must be signed and filed with the Assessing Department within 185 days from the tax commitment.
- If the abatement is not granted as a result of this application, the applicant may appeal in writing to the Assessor’s Board of Review within 60 days from the notice of the decision.
- The State Assessing Board will hear appeals from the Assessor’s Board of Review and will have the final binding authority to resolve the conflict.
The Assessing Department is happy to help you resolve your concerns. Please contact us at any time as the first step to guiding you through the abatement process. Please call (207) 282-1611