The Town of Gray will be updating the assessment records with the new equalized values for the 2018/2019 tax year. Property owner notifications of new assessed values were mailed on June 19, 2018.
- Phase 1 – Data Collection - Complete
- Phase 2 – Market Analysis – Complete
- Phase 3 – Valuation – Complete
- Phase 4 – Field Review/Data Entry – Complete
- Phase 5 – Informal Hearings – June/July 2018
- Frequently Asked Questions
PHASE 1: DATA COLLECTION
The first phase of the equalization project was completed in January of 2016. All properties in Gray have been visited. During this phase, the data collectors physically measured the exterior and inspected the interior of each building on the property. The data collectors noted the buildings location, size, age, and quality of construction, improvements, topography, utilities, zoning restrictions, if any, and numerous other characteristics both inside and out.
PHASE 2: MARKET ANALYSIS
A variety of resources are used to analyze the real estate market. Personnel analyze the previous two years real estate sales to determine which market factors influenced property values. Information from The Registry of Deeds, property managers, developers, and local real estate professionals is also reviewed.
PHASE 3: VALUATION
Market Value is the most widely used approach for the assessment of property values. During this phase, individual characteristics of the building are analyzed using information gathered in both phase 1 and 2. Each property is compared to other comparable properties with similar characteristics. Then the market values of the improvements are added to the land value that was previously determined. This value is the final estimate for each parcel of property, building and land.
PHASE 4: FIELD REVIEW/DATA ENTRY
Field Review is the method of checking and re-checking both the values that have been determined and the data that has been collected. During this review, properties are viewed in the field and information is checked for accuracy.
PHASE 5: INFORMAL HEARINGS
Once the Field Review is complete and the data input has been verified, a Notice of New Value will be mailed to each property owner. At that time, anyone with questions concerning the revaluation process or the data collected on their property has an opportunity to schedule an informal hearing with town staff.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a 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.
What is market value and who determines my property value?
Market value is determined by people, by the activity in the real estate market, and the general economy. The value of your property is based on an analysis of the entire market for the full two calendar years before the completion of the Equalization Project. Factors that are examined for each property include: Location, size, quality of construction, age of improvements, topography, utilities, zoning restrictions, if any, etc.
Will a Revaluation increase taxes?
Although a Revaluation may result in an adjustment to nearly each individual assessment; it does not mean that property taxes will increase. Please remember, assessments are only the base that is used to determine the individual tax burden of each and every taxable property. The overall operating budget, which is the amount that the Municipality must raise to operate the local government and support the many services each of us has come to expect is what truly affects individual property taxes.
How will I know if my assessment is equitable?
There are two very good methods of determining this. First, compare your property to similar, nearby properties that sold in the previous year. Your value should be in line with these sale prices. Second, if no recent sales are available, compare your assessment to other similar properties in your area using the data available in the Assessor’s Office or on the town website. Your value should be in line with these similar properties. Remember, very few properties are exactly alike. Your value should be comparable, but it seldom will be exactly the same as what seems to be a similar property.
What is an Informal Hearing?
Towards the end of the Equalization Project, every property owner will receive a notice of their proposed valuation based on the analysis performed. When a property owner has a question or concern about the proposed valuation, they are asked to call to schedule a date and time to discuss the valuation process and get answers to any questions they may have. An informal hearing is not a forum to discuss taxes; it is strictly meant to answer questions on the property valuations.
Property owners are asked to come prepared with questions and should have already compared their property to other similar sale properties in their neighborhood. Once the hearing is finished, a determination will be made on the need for further review. All changes to value that occur as a result of a hearing will be reflected in the change notice that is sent after the hearings are completed.
If I disagree with my assessment after a hearing, what are my options?
If any property owner believes the assessment on their property is still in excess of its Fair Market value, they should first notify the Assessor’s Office. Should the property owner still feel the assessment is incorrect, they can file formal appeals in accordance with Maine State Statute.