It's no fun for people see their property tax bills double or
even triple, but it's also no fun for people to pay an unfair
Many communities in southern Maine have revalued or soon will
revalue homes to make property assessments closer to the region's
soaring market values. Like it or not, revaluation is the law - and
a matter of fairness.
Someone living in a house inland shouldn't have to pay more taxes
than someone living on the coast in a home that's worth three times
its current assessed value. The revaluation process smooths the
High property values are fine for people who are planning to sell
their home - it makes for a good investment - but it's true that it
can hurt farmers and others who are planning to keep their
Tools like the state's tree growth program, which taxes wood lots
at a lower rate and penalizes property owners when they sell to
developers, can help.
The state's circuit breaker program also provides some relief to
homeowners whose property taxes cut into a disproportionate share of
Pending legislation known as the Chebeague plan, meanwhile, would
cap annual land assessment increases at 2 percent for people who
agree not to sell their land to anyone outside their family, and
assesses a penalty to those who break the pledge. This is a great
plan that should be adopted. These mechanisms can help ease the
pinch of revaluation for those it negatively affects, but the
overall effect of the process is positive.