SKOWHEGAN — The tax rate will decrease by 87 cents per $1,000 worth of valuation, but that doesn’t necessarily mean tax bills will be lower this year because property values have increased, according to Town Manager Christine Almand.

The Skowhegan Board of Assessors met Thursday and set the new tax rate at $17.48 per $1,000 worth of property valuation, a 4.7% decrease from the previous $18.35 rate.

So, ostensibly, a property owner with property valued at, say, $200,000 would pay $3,496 in taxes.

But Almand said Friday that the town has to adjust property tax values as required by the state and must keep assessed values at a certain rate.

“The amount to be raised increased by 4.16%, but the property valuation base increased by 9.23% due to adjustments made to property values based on recent sales data,” she said. “The increase in valuation base is what caused the mill rate reduction.”

Almand said town assessors must adjust property values to assess a “just value” in order to pass the review done by Maine Revenue Services before the state can certify the equalized valuation report.


“Assessors use three generally accepted approaches to valuation: sales, income and cost,” she said. “Recent sales-market data shows that property values have increased in the area and throughout the state, which requires assessors to make the appropriate adjustments to various types of property.”

Property values increased during the coronavirus pandemic and are going up as people from both Maine and out of state are buying and selling.

Voters at the annual Town Meeting on June 14 approved a $15.7 million municipal budget that included the largest single payment the town will make on the planned public safety building. One of the reasons the town budget increased from $13.6 million is that the town needed to make a payment of $592,000 on the building.

The net amount to be raised by local property taxes is $22.4 million, which includes town, county and school funding, according to Almand. That, she said, represents the increase of 4.16% over last year’s total.

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