Pursuant to Title36 MRSA “Assessors, either upon written application filed within 185 days from commitment stating the grounds for an abatement or on their own initiative within one year from commitment, may make such reasonable abatement as they consider proper to correct any illegality, error or irregularity in assessment”. The Town Council after one year, but within three years may make similar abatements. However, the Town Council may not grant an abatement to correct an error in the valuation of property.
If a property owner believes the current value of their property is inaccurate, unfair or overvalued relative to market value they may request review by the Assessor. Property owners are encouraged to review their property record cards to ensure the information on file is accurate. All of the records in the Assessors Office are public. Property owners should also review values placed on similar property, available sales data and provide evidence to the Assessor that the property is overvalued. Should a taxpayer be unsatisfied with the Assessor’s initial review, they may file a formal abatement request within 185 days from the commitment date which takes place prior to tax bills being sent. Applications are available at the Assessor’s Office or you may download an application form.
The fact that a property tax is “too high” is not grounds for abatement. Town and school budgets determine the total amount of taxes that must be paid. The Assessor does not establish the budget or collect the taxes. Property tax assessments do, however, determine how that total tax is shared among the property owners. Maintaining equity among taxpayers is a major responsibility of the Assessor’s Office. The maintenance and analysis of sales information is important to determine the accuracy of assessments.