ROCKLAND — The skyrocketing housing prices may lead the city to undertake another revaluation, of some form, of properties.

City Manager Tom Luttrell raised the issue at the Rockland City Council’s Aug. 8 meeting.

“This should be done sooner than later,” the manager said.

He said if the city’s assessments of properties falls below 90 percent of market value, homeowners will not get the full amount of homestead or veteran exemptions.

The city last adjusted assessments across the community in 2020. The 2020 revaluation — done by exterior inspections, reviewing of city building permits, and market analyses by KRT Appraisal — resulted in South End properties facing the steepest hikes, with 50 to nearly 100 percent increases in assessments common.

Since then sale prices of homes have risen dramatically throughout the city. In Knox County, the median price of single-family homes rose 72 percent from $247,000 in 2020 to $425,000 in 2022.

The revaluation itself does not increase property taxes on a property. Properties whose values increase more than the citywide average would see increased taxes. Those properties that increase less than the city average could see a reduction in taxes.

A revaluation redistributes the property taxes based on the values of the properties.

The city manager said if the Council agrees to commission a revaluation it would take two years to complete. The Council did not discuss the matter at its Aug. 8 meeting.

The last full revaluation in Rockland was done in 2005 when the city hired Vision Appraisal. That revaluation included interior inspections of properties as well as exterior viewings and market analyses.

In the 2005 Rockland revaluation, the neighborhoods that felt the brunt of the increases were Dodge Mountain, Bog Road, Waldo Avenue and Samoset Road. Those homes saw their valuations skyrocket 50 to 100 percent percent. The 2005 revaluation was the first full revaluation Rockland did in 29 years.

In each revaluation, there is often an outcry from residents who see the sharpest increases.

Luttrell acknowledged that a revaluation will not be popular.

The Maine Constitution says that property shall be assessed at its “just value.” The state points out that courts interpreted “just value” to mean fair market value, or in other words, “what the property is worth.” A property’s worth is commonly looked at as “what a willing buyer would pay a willing seller” for a particular piece of property.