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Revaluation firm extends time for property hearings

By Stephen Betts | Aug 05, 2020
Photo by: Stephen Betts Mechanic Street saw some of the sharpest increases in valuations.

Rockland — The firm conducting the revaluation of Rockland properties has agreed to extend the deadline for property owners to have telephone hearings over the new assessments.

City Manager Tom Luttrell said KRT Appraisal will hold hearings through at least Aug. 19. Originally, all hearings had to be held by Aug. 9.

People wanting  hearing need to send their request to the City’s Assessing Office by email at assessing@rocklandmaine.gov or by mail at 270 Pleasant St, Rockland, ME  04841.  They should include their name, property address or map, block, lot, unit, and contact phone number.

The Rockland City Council agreed in June 2019 to have the revaluation performed by including money in the 2019-2020 budget. The city contracted in October with KRT Appraisal of Haverhill, Mass., for $74,000.

The average residential increase has been 19% but some homes have seen their valuations nearly double. The South End has seen some of the sharpest increases.

City Councilors at their Aug. 3 meeting said they wanted to scheduled a meeting with KRT to allow the company to explain the need for the revaluation and how the new assessments were determined.

The company has yet to complete the revaluation of commercial and industrial properties. The city manager said the company has verbally asked for a two week extension to complete that work. The meeting with the Council would be scheduled once the work is done.

Once that part is done, the city will know what the new tax rate will be. If the overall assessment (including commercial and industrial properties) in Rockand rises by 19%, the tax rate would drop 19%. This means the tax bills for people whose properties increased at 19% would see no change, those that increased less than 19% would see a decrease in taxes, and those that saw increases more than 19% would get a tax hike.

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Comments (4)
Posted by: Valerie Wass | Aug 08, 2020 09:01

I have to apologize to the city.  I spoke with the tax assessor office yesterday. Roxanne was very pleasant.  While we see an extreme amount put on our property, we, as tax payers, have to realize that our property has not been assessed since 2005.  Do not forget that there is also a homestead deduction of not $20,000 this year but $25,000.00.  That will help us, as tax payers, to lower our tax bill.  In the future, it would be best if the city did not let the years lapse in assessing our property.  Every five years, I believe would be a good number to re-assess our property.



Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Aug 06, 2020 09:36

Looking forward to hearing more about the opportunity for putting off tax payment for those over 70 until either the house is sold or we pass away.

 



Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Aug 06, 2020 08:34

You're right Val "it was a drive by looting".  My property went up $40,000 my neighbor went down.  Think I'm going to change my tatics.  We'll pull out the garden, remove the house siding and find a couple of junk cars to park out front. If we could just get the "Idle Hour" to re-open we could lower these assessments in the south end.



Posted by: Valerie Wass | Aug 05, 2020 20:18

That is because the appraisal company was pushing all of the tax payers questions to city hall.  I never did get a call back.  When I called to reshedule, the guy told me that they were all booked up and to call city hall.  The city decided to pay this company $74,000.0???!!!   They called my neighbor and said that they were calling about a property on Olympia Ave.  Really??? That is at the other end of town yet they had my neighbor's phone number associated with that address.  Really??!!!  I do not believe that this company was worth the money that was paid them!!!   Keep it in the State and hire State businesses.



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