By Diana Bowley of the BDN Staff: DEXTER, Maine - Preliminary results of a townwide revaluation of properties prompted the Town Council on Thursday to pare the mill rate considerably.
The council voted not to exceed a mill rate of $14.50 per $1,000 property value for the 2008-09 tax year.
A resident whose property is valued at $100,000 would pay a tax bill of $1,450. That property owner paid a tax bill of $2,140 in 2007-08 under a mill rate of $21.40 per $1,000 valuation.
Because the total value of the town may be trimmed after hearings are held with residents beginning later this month, interim Town Manager Dave Pearson sought to have the "not to exceed" language included in the motion. He also expressed his concern that the revaluation process, the first since 1991, took longer than anticipated.
"I'm upset the project has taken this long," Pearson said Thursday, adding that he hoped most people would be satisfied with their values. Although the mill rate dropped, residents whose property value increased could see a higher tax bill. He said he expected waterfront property to take a hit this year.
Letters will be mailed to all property owners Monday, informing them of their new property values and containing a likeness of their tax bill based on a projected $14.50 rate, according to Pearson. The letter also will notify residents of the hearings to be held by the assessors with property owners who have questions about their new values.
Pearson said that ideally the actual tax bills should be mailed out when the hearings have concluded.
As approved by the council on Thursday, taxes are due and payable on Nov. 14 when interest on unpaid taxes will accrue at 11 percent per annum.
The new mill rate includes $92,000 in overlay that would cover any abatements that might be needed, according to Pearson.
Councilors also appointed Shelley Watson as treasurer during the term of the interim town manager and accepted with regret the resignation of Juanita Taylor from the Town Council.
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