Farmington selectmen will consider whether to contract out tax assessment services or hire a new tax assessor to be put on the town payroll.

The outgoing tax assessor, Mark Caldwell, is planning to retire at the end of the year, and town officials have been weighing whether it would save money to contract out the job of assessing property to a third party or whether hiring a replacement assessor to work as a town employee would be a better option.

A town subcommittee met with three assessing contractors last week and will recommend Tuesday that selectmen could use a contractor to save money and get a comparable service, said Town Manager Richard Davis.

“They will tell them that they concluded it’s feasible to contract with a firm and get a suitable product,” said Davis. “It might not be exactly the same as having an assessor with the town.”

The town spends $126,604 for the assessing department and could possibly save $30,000 a year, said Davis. If a contractor is hired, he said the town would still have office expenses and continue to pay a part-time assessor in the department, so any savings would mostly be incurred by not having to pay benefits such as health insurance and retirement.

Estimates for the cost of using different companies to perform assessing services under contract to the town ranged from $45,000 to $64,000, said Davis.

Selectmen have debated over the last few months how to compare contracting services when each town has different demographics and uses their tax assessor for different sets of responsibilities.

Along with serving as the assessor, Caldwell is also the town’s E-911 addressing officer and does work information technology work for the town office.

“Someone else would have to provide those services,” said Davis.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252

[email protected]

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