The task of the Assessor is to estimate the approximate market value of all properties in Town. If a taxpayer believes that the Assessor's valuation is significantly "off" from market value, then he/she may appeal by taking the following steps:
- Review the property record card (available in the Assessor's office) to assure the accuracy of its data
- Check sale prices of similar properties
- Provide evidence to the Assessor that the property is significantly overvalued
- Request a valuation review by the Assessor
- Make a formal abatement request (if not satisfied by the Assessor), supplying evidence as to why the assessment should be changed, and what it should be changed to.
- If the request is denied, make a formal appeal to the local Board of Assessment Review
The property owner has 185 days from the commitment date (which is usually at or around September 15 in Freeport) to file a formal abatement request.
The Assessor may only go back one year in granting an abatement. The Council may go back three years, but only to correct an illegality, error, irregularity in the assessment. They may not grant an abatement to correct an error in valuation of property. In making a formal abatement appeal the assessment is presumed valid and the burden is on the taxpayer to show that it is manifestly wrong in relation to just value or similarly situated properties (CMP v Town of Moscow, 649 A.2d 320 (ME.1994)) then demonstrate affirmative credible evidence of what the valuation ought to be. (City of Waterville v. Waterville Homes, Inc. 655 A.2d 365 (1995)).
A Poverty Abatement may be granted by the Town Council in cases where the owner is deemed to be unable to contribute to the public charges. To apply for this, please contact the General Assistance Office.