Abatement is the process by which valuation, that is found to be excessive or the assessment is found to be void because of an error or illegality, may be corrected. In the State of Maine, a taxpayer must do more than simply disagree with the assessment, which is presumed to be valid. See, e.g., Madison Paper Industries v. Town of Madison, 2021 ME 35, 253 A.3d. 575, noting that a taxpayer must affirmatively demonstrate through credible evidence that the assessment was manifestly wrong and demonstrate that:
- The judgement of the Assessor was irrational or unreasonable in light of the circumstances that the property is substantially overvalued and an injustice results;
- There was unjust discrimination; or
- The assessment was fraudulent, dishonest, or illegal.
While we understand some may have concerns about affordability, high tax, or change in value from one year to the next, these are not sufficient grounds for an appeal. An appeal is to be based on the estimated market value of the property. According to Maine law, a property's valuation is considered reasonable within 10% of it probable selling price.
- Assessment function is distinct from the taxation function.
- Assessor appraises and classifies property to determine assessments.
- Town Council approves the municipal and school budget. This is an open process and residents do have a say in the matter. Residents then confirm approved school budget through referendum.
- Assessor provides assessed value totals to town governing body.
- Total assessment and additional revenues are combined with approved budget to determine the property tax rate.
- Taxes are collected by the town collecting officials.
1. Informal Appeal
- Review your property record card and report any inaccuracies to the Assessor's Office.
- Review sales of similar properties and familiarize yourself with local market conditions.
- Present clear and concise evidence that the property is significantly overvalued as well as what the valuation ought to be.
2. Formal Appeal
- If an informal resolution is not reached and you feel the property is still overvalued, submit a formal written application to the Assessor's Office.
- A taxpayer has 185 days from the date of commitment to file a formal appeal.
- The Assessor's Office has 60 days to respond to an appeal request.
3. Board of Review
- A taxpayer has 60 days to appeal the decision of the Assessor to the Board of Assessment Review.
- The Board will convene for a public hearing where the taxpayer and Assessor will provide written and/or oral testimony.