May 26, 2018
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Veazie to hold neighborhood meetings about possible property valuation changes

By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff

VEAZIE, Maine — The town assessing staff next week will hold the first in a series of meetings to discuss potential changes to property assessments and a possible townwide revaluation, according to Town Assessor Benjamin Birch.

Birch and the Veazie Town Council have invited taxpayers in the Longmeadow Drive and Veazie Villas neighborhood to a presentation and meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, in the town office.

Of the 890 property accounts in Veazie, Birch said about 400 have overrides, meaning the computer software that calculates the properties’ value is missing information, and assessing staffers have to override the software in order to change the valuation.

Birch has suggested the town pay a firm to conduct a full revaluation to fill gaps in the data and show a “truer picture” of the town’s value. The last time Veazie underwent a townwide assessment was in 1981, Birch said.

A full revaluation could cost Veazie between $85,000 and $110,000, but the town hasn’t yet solicited bids, according to Birch, who added that the council faces other budgeting questions this year because of the town’s share in closing an RSU 26 budget gap.

If the revaluation doesn’t happen, homes would continue to be inspected one at a time as needed. But that can be “grueling” when 400 properties are missing data, Birch said.

He said it wasn’t likely that the town would see a significant change in the tax situation after a full revaluation. Most residents should see their taxes stay steady, but some could see increases or decreases as a result of their neighborhood’s valuation changing.

If interest in the meetings is high, Birch said the Town Council would schedule meetings for as many of the 26 residential neighborhoods in town as possible.

“Our intent is to just educate folks along the way,” Birch said.

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