ABATEMENTS (TAX APPEALS)
Abatements, or tax appeals, are made through the statuatory abatement process governed by M.R.S.A. Title 36 Section 841-850. An abatement is a reduction in property assessment. They are granted when the Assessor discovers an error in assessment or if the owner points such an error out. According to Maine Law (Title 36 Section 848-A), it is considered sufficeint defense of an assessment alone if it falls within 10% of the relevant assessment ratio of the municipality.
If the owner believes that the current value placed on their property is inaccurate, unfair, or overvalued relative to the current real estate market, they may take the following steps, in order:
1. Review the property record card (available in the Assessor's office) to assure the accuracy of its data
2. Check sale prices of similar homes
3. Request an informal valuation review by the Assessor. (not required, but often issues can be resolved without a formal appeal) & provide evidence to the Assessor that the property is overvalued.
4. Make a formal abatement request. Forms are available in the Assessor's Office. Appeals must be in writing and provide credible and affirmitive evidence of value or unjust discrimination.
A person disputing an assessment must prove indisputably:
a. That he/she was “over rated” in the sense of overestimation of the property
above its true value*, or
b. That his/her property was taxed on the basis of just value or a certain
thereof, while the assessor assessed other similar properties
at a lesser percentage of just value.
c. The taxpayer has reviewed the subject property record card and if
information on the said card is incorrect, has brought said errors to the
5. Make a formal appeal of the Assessor's decision to the Gardiner Board of Assessment Review.
6. Make a formal appeal of the board of review decision to Superior Court.
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. CMP v Town of Moscow, 649 A.2d 320 (ME.1994)
Abatement applications must be received by January 30, 2017 for re-consideration of the April 1, 2016 assessment. To view the State of Maine bulletin regarding abatements and appeals, please click here. Bulletin 10 Abatements & Appeals