The following are frequently asked questions related to the Assessing Office:
Changes such as additions or deletions to your property may affect value as well as changes in the market.
If you think your property valuation is too high, compare it to similar homes in Auburn by going online to the WebPro link at www.auburnmaine.org or coming to City Hall and looking through the Valuation Book. You may also request an informal review of your property. If you are dissatisfied with the results of the review you may then file for an abatement . An abatement is a formal challenge of your total property valuation.
Assessors determine the taxation value of properties by the following valuation methods:
1. Sales Comparison Approach
This method estimates the market value of a property by comparing your property to similar properties that have sold. The sale prices of the comparable properties are then adjusted to your property for any differences in site and improvement characteristics.
2. Cost Approach
This method determines value of a property by using a formula:
Value of Land + Replacement Cost of Improvements New – Depreciation = Value
This is the most common method used to assess properties for mass valuation purposes.
3. Income Approach
With this method of assessment, the appraiser analyzes the income stream of a property to determine market value. This method is only used to determine value of commercial properties.
The mil rate is the dollars and cents per $1,000 of assessed value that you will pay in taxes. The City Council determines the annual amount of revenue required to be raised by property tax to fund all municipal services. That amount is then divided by the total assessed valuation to arrive at the tax rate or mil rate.
The courts have interpreted "just value" to mean fair market value or in other words what the property is worth based on what a willing buyer would pay a willing seller for a particular property. This assumes an arm's-length transaction in the open market without any element of duress or with no advantage being taken by either party.
The tax bill covers the period from July 1st through June 30th of the following year. The tax bill is based on the valuation which is determined as of April 1st every year. Tax bills are due twice a year, usually September 15th and March 15th of the following year.
We offer Veteran Exemptions, Blind Exemption and the Homestead Exemption to all qualifying applicants. Applications forms can be obtained at our office and they need to be submitted to us by April 1 of the upcoming year. In addition, there is the State Tax and Rent Refund Program. This program is based on your total household income and is administered by the State of Maine Revenue service. Refer to Government- Tax Relief Programs on our web page for more information on these exemptions.