Assessing and Abatement Procedures

  
ASSESSORS' RESPONSIBILITIES:

The Board of Assessors is responsible for the following:

  • find and list all taxable and non-taxable property within the City of Hallowell
  • determine the valuation of all taxable and non-taxable property in the City of Hallowell whether it be real estate or business personal property.
  • determine the exemption eligibility of qualifying properties in the City of Hallowell.
  • prepare the Commitment Book showing valuation of all land, buildings, business personal property, tax due on each account, veterans and exempt properties
  • commit taxes to the Tax Collector for collection
  • establish an acceptable level of assessment performance and quality as prescribed by statute
  • conduct annual sales ratio studies
  • provide the Bureau of Taxation with complete Sales Analysis Return annually
  • Review abatement requests and defend decisions before the County Commissioners
  • provide the Bureau of Taxation with Municipal Valuation Form
  • physically inspect and inventory each real estate parcel and personal property account every four years
  • maintain current records regarding ownership and extent of taxation and maintenance of property tax maps
  • administer the homestead exemption
 
COMMITMENT:
  • The City Council approves an annual municipal budget for each department.
  • The School Board and the School Town Meeting approves the school's annual budget.
  • The County Commissioners approve the annual Kennebec County budget and provide the City of Hallowell with its share.
  • The bottom line number for the municipal budget, school budget and county budget forms the basis for the property tax which is committed to the Tax Collector for collection.
  • This tax commitment provides over 80% of the revenues needed to run the City of Hallowell.

STATE REVIEW:

The work of the Board of Assessors is controlled by State Law and reviewed annually by a representative of the State Department of Revenue Services.


ABATEMENTS:

Abatements are reductions in one's property tax bill. They are granted when the Board of Assessors discover an error in assessment or if the owner points out such an error. If the owner believes that the current value placed on their property is inaccurate, unfair, or over valued relative to the current real estate market, they may take the following steps, in order:

  • Review the property card with the Assessors (available in the Assessor's office) to assure the accurancy of its data.
  • Check the sale prices of similar homes.
  • Provide evidence to the Assessor that the property is over valued.
  • Request an informal valuation review by the Board of Assessors. (not required, but often issues can be resolved without a formal appeal)
  • Make a formal abatement request. Obtain a form from the City Clerk's Office or click here to download forms from the State website.
  • Make a formal appeal to the Kennebec County Commissioners

The property owner has 185 days from the commitment date to file a formal abatement request.

In making a formal abatement appeal the assessment is presumed valid and the burden is on the taxpayer to show that it is manifestly wrong in relation to just value. CMP v Town of Moscow, 649 A.2d 320 (ME.1994)


PERSONAL PROPERTY:

The value of personal property of businesses – furniture, fixtures, machinery and equipment – that are pertinent to the conduct of that business are subject to valuation and taxation.

The Board of Assessors assess these properties based on their ownership, condition, and location as of April 1.

 
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