Frequently Asked Questions


How are properties assessed?

Assessors determine the taxation value of properties by the following valuation methods:

  1. Sales Comparison Approach

This method estimates the market value of a property by comparing your property to similar properties that have sold. The sale prices of the comparable properties are then adjusted to your property for any differences in site and improvement characteristics.

  1. Cost Approach

This method determines value of a property by using a formula:

Value of Land + Replacement Cost of Improvements New – Depreciation = Value

This is the most common method used to assess properties for mass valuation purposes.

  1. Income Approach

With this method of assessment, the appraiser analyzes the income stream of a property to determine market value. This method is only used to determine value of commercial properties.  

Why does an assessed value change from one year to the next if nothing has changed on the property?
The Assessor may increase or decrease the assessed value of a property from one year to the next, if the assessor finds that the previous assessment was incorrect or inequitable to similar properties. However, typically the assessment will change due to new construction, updates, changes in use, or overall market adjustments.
How do I review and/or appeal my assessment?

Once you have received your tax bill, you may want to request a copy of your property record, which is also available on-line on our website. VISION Database

Step 1 - Review the information on the record, verify the number of bedrooms, baths, acreage….
Step 2 - Research comparable homes or property to match likenesses
Step 3 - Contact the Assessor to meet and discuss your concerns, ask questions
Step 4 – If you are not satisfied, then you have a right to officially appeal pursuant to Statute
Step 5 – You must file an application within 185 days from the commitment date, to the Assessor, along with supportive documentation to support your claim. 
Click here for more information!


How is the tax rate calculated?

The City Council determines the annual amount of revenue required to be raised by property tax to fund all municipal services, including school and county appropriations.  That amount is then reduced by the expected revenue received from outside entities such as State Revenue Sharing, Motor Vehicle Excise Tax, Permit Fees, etc. The net amount is then divided by the total taxable assessed valuation to arrive at the tax rate or mil rate.   The mil rate is the dollars and cents per $1,000 of assessed value that you will pay in taxes. 

What fiscal period does the tax bill cover?
The tax bill covers the period from July 1st through June 30th of the following year.  The tax bill reflects the valuation which is determined as of April 1st every year.  One tax bill is mailed, and payments are due four times a year.
I received a tax bill in the mail, but I sold the property on June 1st. Why did it come to me?

From time to time, confusion exists as to who should receive a property tax bill. State of Maine Law clearly states that each property must be assessed to the last known owner of record as of April 1st of each year.

If you owned your home on April 1, sold it on April 2nd and tax bills were mailed in September, the tax bill will be in your name as owner of record. It is the responsibility of the buyer and seller to prorate at the time of closing and agree between themselves as to how they want to pay the bill.

If the current taxes are not paid, the Tax Collector must file a lien in the old owner's (seller's) name because they were the owner of record as of April 1st. Our Tax Collector will make every effort possible to notify both parties as to any past due taxes prior to the formal lien process.

The new owner's liability starts April 1st in the next year.

Are there any Tax Relief Programs?

Yes, please refer to the Tax Relief Section on the Assessor’s Website page. Visit the State of Maine Property Tax Relief page for resources!

Personal Property

What is Personal Property?

Personal property is associated with tangible items located at a business. Click here for more information!

Personal Property is taxable just as Real Estate is. Items include but is not limited to the following categories:

  • Machinery & Equipment: Presses, tools, machining equipment, garage equipment, heavy-duty shelving and other machinery or manufacturing equipment, telephone equipment, vending machines, televisions, amusement apparatuses, typewriters, calculators, fax machines, copiers and other office items of this type, cargo trailers and any self-propelled machinery that is not subject to excise tax.
  • Computer Equipment: CPUs, monitors, servers, network wiring, printers, and other computer equipment.
  • Furniture & Fixtures: Business office furnishings such as desks, chairs, bookcases, file cabinets, tables, and sofas. This category also includes fixtures specific to a business that may be attached to the real estate but is generally removed when the business relocates.
  • Signs: Any business advertisement sign.