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Assessing Fundamentals

Assessing Process

  1. The property tax is an ad valorem tax meaning it’s based solely upon value regardless of one’s ability to pay. 

  2. While employed by the municipality, the Municipal Assessor is an Agent of the State and falls under the general supervision of the State Tax Assessor in the administration of assessment and taxation laws of the State of Maine. (MRSA Title 36 § 201)

  3. The Assessor is responsible for discovering, listing and valuing all property in the municipality.

  4. The Assessor’s primary function is to make sure that the tax burden is distributed equally amongst all property owners so no taxpayer(s) is required to pay more or less than their fair share of the tax burden. (Article IX, Section 8, Maine Constitution)

  5. Minimum Assessment Ratio = 70%, Maximum Assessment Ratio is 110%, Maximum Level of Assessment Quality (Quality Rating) is 20%. (MRSA Title 36 §327)

  6. Assessment Ratio is Tax Assessment divided by Sale Price.

  7. Valuation updates allow the Assessor to maintain equitable assessments. A Revaluation is revenue neutral and is simply a redistribution of the tax burden.

  8. The Town Council adopts the annual budget based on projected revenues and expenditures. The Assessor determines the Town’s total taxable valuation each year. The tax rate is calculated by dividing the Council Adopted Budget by the Town’s Total Taxable Valuation.

Example of Assessment Ratio and Quality Rating Calculation

  • Assessment to Sale Price Ratio = Current Assessment Divided by Sale Price
  • Average Ratio = Average of All Assessment to Sale Price Ratios
  • Deviation = Average Ratio Minus Individual Assessment Ratio Average
  • Deviation = Average of All Standard Deviations
  • Quality Rating = Average Deviation Divided by Average Ratio