Simmons raises idea of reval

Tue, 05/10/2022 - 8:45am

    Wiscasset should do a town-wide property revaluation next year, Town Manager Dennis Simmons told selectmen May 3. 

    “I just want it out there, because everyone gets a little upset when you talk about revaluation, especially now with home prices being so incredibly high (and) it doesn’t appear ... they’re going to be going down anytime soon.” He said a revaluation does not mean taxes will rise, it just “re-equalizes everything to where they should be with respect to market rates. So it’s something we need to think about pretty seriously.”

    The last one was in 2007, and some properties’ values are now off kilter, Simmons said. “We really need to consider having this done next year.” 

    In a phone interview Monday, Simmons explained when valuation falls short of fair market value, towns get less state aid. He doubted a town vote for a revaluation will come sooner than June 2023. A possible funding source is capital reserve, he said. He had not heard feedback from residents on the revaluation mention since he made it last week. When he did, in the meeting viewable on the town’s YouTube channel, selectmen said nothing.

    A review of Wiscasset Newspaper files found the board briefly discussed the idea in November 2020, when then-selectman Jeff Slack observed the board seemed to be doing tax abatements regularly.

    Some nearby towns have either had a revaluation recently or are planning one. Woolwich voters nodded funding last month. Alna did a revaluation in 2018. And in 2021 and 2022, Edgecomb has eyed one, possibly in 2024; according to Wiscasset Newspaper files, that would make it Edgecomb’s first one in about 20 years.