Frequently Asked Questions
Who appoints the Town Tax Assessor?
How is the Assessor credentialed?
What guidelines must the Assessor follow?
How is the tax rate established?
How is my tax bill figured?
What creates market value?
When are taxes due?
What causes property values to change?
Why does the Assessor need to visit my property?
If the Assessor asks to view the interior of my home, must I let him in?

Who appoints the Town Assessors?
The Town Assessors are appointed by the Board of Selectmen.

How is the Assessor credentialed?
The Waterboro Town Assessors are Certified Maine Assessor (a certification granted by the State Department of Revenue Services), a member of the Maine Association of Assessing Officers, and the International Association of Assessing Officers.

What guidelines must the Assessor follow?
Property tax administration is guided by the State Constitution, Title 36 of the Maine Statutes, and a body of case law that interprets these Statutes. Assessment practice is not guided by local ordinance. The Assessor is charged with establishing a list of all properties in town and estimating their market value.

How is the tax rate established?
The Board of Selectmen approves annual budgets to pay for services in the coming year. The tax rate is calculated by dividing the amount needed to be raised (the budget, net of other revenues) by the town's total assessed property value.

How is my tax bill figured?
Each property owner's responsibility for their part of the town's annual budget is assigned to them according to the value of their property. This "share" is calculated by multiplying their individual property's valuation by the tax rate. [Example: if the value of your property is $150,000, this number is multiplied by the tax rate .014 (in f/y 2014-15) to determine a tax bill of $2,100.00]

What creates market value?
The citizens establish market value through their ongoing transactions of buying and selling property. It is the duty of the assessor to study these sales transactions and appraise properties accordingly.

When are taxes due?
The due dates are set each year, typically around October 15 and April 15. Each property owner pays half his or her bill by each of these dates.

What causes property values to change?
The most frequent cause of value change is a change in the general real estate market. As demand for property goes up, prices tend to go up. As demand decreases, so do prices.

An individual property can also change in value due to changes to the property itself. If something is added, such as a garage, bedroom, or pool, the value increases. On the other hand, fire, demolition, or depreciation from poor maintenance can decrease value.

Sometimes external economic forces can also change value. For example, if a major employer leaves town it tends to depress the local economy and thus property values. In another case, homes that have always been on a dirt road will increase in value if the road is improved and paved, creating better access. Times of general inflation also drive up property values.

Why does the Assessor's Agent need to visit my property?
The Assessor's Agent visits properties to assure the accuracy of the data on the property record cards, which are used to formulate each assessment.

If the Assessor's Agent asks to view the interior of my home, must I let him in?
No. You may either decline or ask to set up an appointment for another time that is convenient to you.

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