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News Feature

Deer Isle
Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, January 24, 2019
Deer Isle looks to raise money for town-wide revaluation
Last one conducted in 1982

by Monique Labbe

The Deer Isle Board of Selectmen is proposing to raise funds, a total of $40,000, at town meeting in March for a reserve account designated for property revaluation.

The last time the town conducted a revaluation was 1982, according to Deer Isle Town Manager Jim Fisher. Assessing agents applied an inflation factor in 1995, he said, but did not visit properties or make any adjustments to the relative values of properties. Since that time, the town has applied an “ever increasing” tax rate to the 1982 assessment, said Fisher.

“After a revaluation, we should be close to a certified ratio of 1 and more importantly our valuations should be much closer to real market values,” he said, adding that the tax rate should drop to $10/$1,000.

The result will be lower taxes for some households, no change for some and higher taxes for households that were severely undervalued relative to the market.

RJD Appraisal of Pittsfield has been acting as the town’s assessing agent for a few years, and Fisher said the proposal is to hire them to conduct the revaluation, which would begin in 2020 and be completed by 2021.

“This year we propose to raise $40,000, and will need to raise a similar amount in the next two cycles,” he said.

After that assessment, Fisher said he hopes the town will continue to raise money yearly for revaluation. A regular schedule of about seven years between revaluations is typical.

A public hearing was held on January 22 at the town office to inform people about the proposal.