What are the Assessor's duties and responsibilities?

The assessor establishes a value for each taxable property, administers tax exemptions and current use programs, and completes the tax commitments.

What is market value?

Market value is the most probable price expressed in terms of money that a property would bring if exposed for sale in the open market in an arm's length transaction between a willing seller and a willing buyer, both of whom are knowledgeable concerning all potential uses for the property. A purchase price is not necessarily market value. Many property sales have special circumstances where the sale price does not represent the true market value such as a sale between family members or a forced sale.

What is the difference between assessed value and market value?

Assessed values are created using mass appraisal technique. At a given point in time, a pricing system is developed using recent sales data. This system is used to price all property in the community. At the time of implementation the assessed value should be within 10% of proven market value. This is considered to be "accurate within the limits of practicality". Over time, changes in the real estate market occur. As a result of these changes, the relationships between the assessed values and market values become inconsistent. Eventually, these inconsistencies prompt a revision or complete replacement of the mass appraisal pricing system. The new valuations should again be closely aligned with market value.

What causes my property value to change?

Fluctuation in the real estate market affects your property's market value. You do not have to make physical changes to your property to change its value.

What causes my assessment to change?

There are several reasons why your property's assessed value could change:

* A revaluation that would reflect current market conditions.

* Improvements made to the property.

* Any change in data discovered through inspection.

Why does the Assessor need to inspect my property?

In order to accurately determine the market value of your property, we must base the assessment on correct information. Interior and exterior inspections provide the most accurate data.

If the Assessor asks to view the interior of my home, must I let the Assessor in?

No, you are not obligated to let the assessor in. However, the assessor must establish a value for your property and will estimate what he/she cannot observe or measure. If you deny the assessor permission to review your property you may lose your right to appeal the estimated assessment.

How do I appeal my assessment if I disagree with the Assessor?

According to Maine tax law, your property's assessment is considered reasonable if it falls within 10% of its most probable selling price. The burden to prove the assessment is unreasonable rests with the taxpayer. The first step is an informal review. Your opinion must be supported with facts, so visit the Assessor's office and review the facts on your property record card, the other assessments in your neighborhood and the properties that have recently sold.

If in your review you conclude that your assessment is unreasonable, you can apply for an abatement. This is a formal appeal of your assessment. You must file within 185 days of the tax commitment. In your application you must provide a credible alternative value and show how you arrived at this value. The Assessor has 60 days to respond to your application. If you do not receive a response in 60 days, you are deemed to be denied. If you are denied, you then have 60 days to appeal the decision to the Board of Assessment Review.

How is the tax rate calculated?

Revenue required by the Budget divided by Town Value equals Tax Rate.

$8,988,868 divided by $966,544,943 = $.0093 Tax Rate

Tax Rate X Assessed Value = Tax Bill

$.0093 Tax Rate X Individual property assessment ($100,000, for example)= $930 Annual Tax Bill

What is the difference between Assessment Year, Fiscal Year and Commitment Date?

Assessment Year: April 1 (set by Maine tax law)

The ownership and condition of all property is fixed as of April 1st each year. The owner of record on April 1st is responsible for the annual tax bill. The current assessment information available from this office reflects the owners and assessments as of April 1. Any ownership changes or improvements to the property made after April 1, will not change the tax bill until September of the following year. The second payment due on April 30, is the second half of the year's current obligation.

Fiscal Year: July 1 to June 30

The budget, approved by the Board of Selectmen in May of each year, covers this period. Tax bills mailed in October are for the fiscal year beginning in July.

Commitment Date: Mid September (set by Assessor)

When the Assessor 'commits' the town's assessment rolls to the Tax Collector. The commitment date varies each year. In Raymond, this date is usually the second or third week of September.

When are the taxes due and what period does each payment cover?

1st half payment October 31

2nd half payment April 30

Why is the tax bill still in my name if I sold my property?

According to Maine tax law, the Assessor is required to commit property taxes to the owner of record as of April 1st. This means both payments. If you sold your property on June 1st, the tax bill issued in October and the second payment due the following April, must remain in your name.

For example:

April 1 you owned the property

June 1 you sold the property

October the annual tax is issued

October 31st the first half payment is due

April 30 the second half payment is due

Your name will appear on all the bills until the new bill is issued in September of the following year.

If requested by the buyer or seller, the tax bill may be sent in care of the buyer. The seller's name will continue to appear first on the bill.

What is the Town's Assessment Ratio?

The Town of Raymond's Assessment Ratio is currently 92%

IMPORTANT: Please discuss the property tax bill at the closing - determine who is responsible for payment and who you will forward the bill to when you receive it. The Assessor is not responsible for the pro-ration of taxes between buyer and seller.