The tax bills for the Town of Waldoboro were mailed this week, the due date will be extended to November 30, 2022. If you have questions or concerns about your property valuation you should contact our Assessor’s Agent, Darryl McKenney at the Town Office or by calling 832-5369 ext. 2.
What can you do to reduce your tax bill, or make it more manageable?
All taxpayers can participate in the Tax Club that will split your bill into 9 monthly payments if you set up participation with our Tax Collector during October, or 8 monthly payments if you set up participation during November. Call 832-5369 ext. 1 for Tax Club information.
Please review your valuation with our Assessor’s Agent, remember the last revaluation was in 2008, your new valuation may include improvements you may have made to your home since that date.
Valuations are only part of the equation for determining what your tax bill will be. The revaluation process is revenue neutral. Municipalities do not gain additional tax revenue by increasing the town-wide value of real property. The Town will only assess the taxes necessary to meet annual approved budget expenditures. The tax bill you receive covers the Town of Waldoboro, the RSU 40 School District and Lincoln County apportionments according to the following percentages:
This budget year each of these entities saw an increase in their budgets. The RSU 40 budget increased 8.2%, Lincoln County budget 8.97% and the Town of Waldoboro increase was 11.43%. The Town of Waldoboro budget saw the largest increases in the Emergency Services and Public Works departments, this was due in large part to increased wages for key safety positions. It has become increasingly difficult to recruit and retain Police Officers, EMT’s, Paramedics, skilled Equipment Operators and qualified CDL drivers. The Select Board and the Budget Committee worked diligently to address these issues during the budget process, and with great thought and planning submitted a budget to the voters in June which included the 11.43% increase which was approved by the voters.
If you have questions, do not hesitate to call the Town Office at 832-5369.
What is a Property Revaluation?
A revaluation is the process of conducting the data collection and market analysis necessary to equalize the values of all properties within a municipality for the purpose of a fair distribution of the tax burden.
Why conduct a Revaluation now?
Revaluations ensure fairness to all property owners. Waldoboro’s last revaluation occurred in 2008. Over time, different properties increase in value at different rates. This can result in inequities. The revaluation equalizes all property values making property taxes more equitable for everyone in town. In 1975, Maine’s Property Tax Law added language that required a town to maintain valuations equitably to at least 70%. This allows a taxpayer to understand their own valuation and relate it to other property values within the Town.
Is the Revaluation a way for the Town to raise additional tax revenue?
No. The revaluation process is revenue neutral. Municipalities do not gain additional tax revenue by increasing the town-wide value of real property. The Town will only assess the taxes necessary to meet annual approved budget expenditures. The revaluation process takes the existing budget and apportions it among property owners with improved equity.
Is there a way to appeal my assessment?
A taxpayer has the right to legally appeal their tax assessment if they feel that it is unfair or unjust. Visit with our Assessor’s Agent, Darryl McKenney to discuss your concerns, and he can provide information about the appeal process. Call 832-5369 ext. 2
You can appeal your valuation through the process of Abatement. Abatement is the process by which valuations that are found to be excessive, or in error may be corrected. The statutes provide that a property owner who believes their property valuation is excessive must seek relief through a written request to the Board of Assessors, made within 185 days of the date the tax was committed to the Tax Collector (which is usually shortly before the tax bill is mailed) stating the abatement requested, and the reasons for requesting the abatement.
If the taxpayer is dissatisfied with the decision of the Board of Assessors, they may appeal within 60 days to the Lincoln County Commissioners; further appeal may be made to the Superior Court within 30 days.
Is there any way to reduce my property taxes?
Make sure you are taking advantage of all the programs and assistance available to you a list is provided below. For more information please visit the Maine Revenue Services Property Tax page at https://www.maine.gov/revenue/taxes/property-tax
or stop in to our Assessor’s Office.
Homestead Exemption -This program provides a measure of property tax relief for certain individuals that have owned homestead property in Maine for at least 12 months and make the property they occupy on April 1 their permanent residence. Property owners would receive an exemption of $25,000.
Renewable Energy Investment Exemption -This program exempts renewable energy equipment, such as solar panels, from property tax beginning April 1, 2020. Taxpayers must apply for the credit by April 1 of the first year the exemption is requested.
Veteran Exemption - A veteran who served during a recognized war period and is 62 years or older; or, is receiving 100% disability as a Veteran; or, became 100% disabled while serving, is eligible for $6,000.
Paraplegic Veteran - A veteran who received a federal grant for a specially adapted housing unit may receive $50,000.
Blind Exemption - An individual who is determined to be legally blind receives $4,000.
All of the above exemptions require completion of an application to the local town office where the property is located.
Property Tax Stabilization Program
Property Tax Stabilization for Senior Citizens, also known as the Property Tax Stabilization Program (the “Program”), is a State program that allows certain senior-citizen residents to stabilize, or freeze, the property taxes on their homestead. As long as you qualify and file a timely application each year, the tax billed to you for your homestead will be frozen at the amount you were billed in the prior tax year. Eligible residents who move may transfer the fixed tax amount to a new homestead, even if that new homestead is in a different Maine municipality.
State Property Tax Deferral Program
The State Property Tax Deferral Program is a lifeline loan program that can cover the annual property tax bills of Maine people who are ages 65 and older or are permanently disabled and who cannot afford to pay them on their own. The loan program allows Maine’s most vulnerable community members to age in place and ensures that property taxes are still delivered to municipalities, requiring repayment of the loan once the property is sold or becomes part of an estate.
The following Current Use Programs provide for a reduced valuation
Tree Growth - A parcel of land with at least 10 forested acres which are harvested for commercial purposes.
Farm Land - Property must have a minimum of 5 acres and produce an income from agricultural use.
Open Space - No minimum acreage but the parcel must be undeveloped and provide a public benefit.
Working Waterfront - No minimum acreage but the parcel must be providing access to or in support of the conduct of commercial fishing activities.
Maine Residents Property Tax & Rent Refund - Eligible Maine residents can receive a partial refund of property taxes and/or rent paid on their primary residence.
Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement - Eligible Maine Businesses may receive a rebate of property tax paid on eligible equipment