By Diana Bowley of the News Staff - DEXTER - A unique idea that would draw three communities closer together in SAD 46 and would promote regionalization is being supported by town officials in Dexter, Garland and Exeter. The three towns together have applied for a $10,000 state planning grant to develop a plan for a regional revaluation. If the planning grant is received and a plan adopted that is acceptable to all three communities, another grant application will be submitted to fund a full revaluation of all properties in the three towns in 2006.
David Pearson, Dexter's tax assessor and the originator of the idea, told the Town Council on Thursday that regardless of whether the grant is funded, Dexter will need to do a revaluation. The last full revaluation in town was conducted in 1991.
"I'm hoping it will be kind of a model for towns to work together and that other school districts could copy for more efficient delivery of services," Pearson said of the proposed revaluation on Friday.
Pearson said the town's state-certified assessment this year is 85 percent of market value.
"This is the first time we've been below 90 percent, and I'd like to get us back to 100 percent," Pearson said.
Garland and Exeter also are having problems, he noted. Garland last year was assessing at 80 percent of market value and Exeter was at 67 percent, he said.
Pearson said Dexter had a good real estate year last year and that property values have appreciated. The issue facing the town now is that the state valuation increased 8 percent over last year and is now set at $146,650,000.
In comparison, the projected municipal valuation for the coming year is $130 million, an increase of about $2 million from last year. The difference would have to be made by adjusting building costs and land schedules, he said.
If the grant is funded, Pearson envisions that all three towns would use the same property cards, the same contractor to do the revaluation and the same computer software, which would mean more efficient assessing.
The council was told that a revaluation could cost between $19,000 and $90,000 depending on how it is done and who does it.
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