2021 Revaluation Project - Revalue Portland!
City Halts Implementation of Property Revaluation until 2021
The City’s Assessor’s Office has officially announced it is halting implementation of this year’s citywide property revaluation until 2021 citing the unknown real estate market and fiscal implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, the City announced it was delaying the process to a date to be determined.
"Given the unknowns with the changes the real estate market will see from the pandemic, it would not be prudent to set new values for the April 1, 2020 assessment date. We will continue to analyze market data to see what trends emerge as this crisis continues and make necessary adjustments accordingly,” said City Tax Assessor Christopher Huff.
He added, “achieving uniform, fair and equitable property taxation is the paramount goal for our office, especially with a long overdue revaluation. However, I feel the potential impact to market values from the pandemic outweighs this concern for the coming year. We would not be doing our due diligence if we did not take into account the market changes that develop. Therefore, we will continue to analyze the market response over the coming months, make any adjustments necessary and set new assessment values as of 4/1/2021 for the Fiscal Year 2022 tax billing cycle.”
The final phases of the current revaluation project were about to get underway when the pandemic hit. New value notices were scheduled to be sent to all property owners in May with informal value appeals set to commence in June. These activities will still take place, but will occur next year instead. A new timeline and schedule will be posted once these dates are determined.
Our Promise to You
A citywide revaluation is always a challenge, because the goal is to appraise thousands of properties all at one time, and in a way that is fair and equitable to all property owners. We strive to follow established industry standards for mass appraisal; however, we recognize that there will be situations where the mass appraisal approach may produce an estimate of value that seems somewhat high or low for an individual property. We are committed to working with all property owners to ensure that every property is appraised at a reasonable estimate of its market value.
Revaluations are commonly undertaken every 10 years or when a community falls below assessing standards set by Maine law. During a revaluation, all property in the municipality is reviewed and assessments are adjusted to their fair market value.
The City of Portland is currently conducting a city-wide revaluation of all real property. New values will take effect for the 4/1/2020 assessment date and will be reflected in the tax bills issued for FY21, mailed in the Fall of 2020. In order to ensure that the City’s tax burden is shared fairly among all property owners, it’s necessary to update our descriptions and valuations of properties throughout the City.
On average, Portland’s current valuations are approximately 70% of market value. Our goal upon completion of the revaluation is to get property assessments back to the State mandated 100% of market value standard. Portland’s last revaluation was completed in 2004 and many properties have changed significantly since then. This creates the potential for some Portland properties to be either over-assessed or under-assessed in relation to others. The goal in the revaluation is to improve the fairness of our property values so that all Portland taxpayers are treated similarly.
The appraisal firm of Tyler Technologies CLT Appraisal Services has been hired by the City of Portland to complete the revaluation project. Tyler’s Appraisal and Tax division will be working with the Assessor’s Office to make the process a successful one. The following is a general outline and explanation of each phase of the project.
There are five major phases to a municipal revaluation: Data Collection, Market Analysis, Valuation, Field Review and Informal Hearings.
PHASE 1: DATA COLLECTION
The first phase, Data Collection, will begin March 2019 and last for approximately 7-8 months. During this phase, data collectors, also known as “Listers," visit parcels to inspect and verify the measurements of the exterior of each building. These Listers note the building’s location, size, age, quality of construction, improvements, topography, utilities, zoning restrictions, if any, and numerous other characteristics. A new photograph of the exterior of each property is also taken. These photos are added to the Assessor’s database and will be printed on the property record card. These will replace our currently used photos, many of which are over 10 years old.
All field representatives will carry identification cards and have their cars listed with both the Assessor’s Office and the Police Department.
PHASE 2: MARKET ANALYSIS
A variety of resources are used to analyze the real estate market. While the physical data is being collected by field listers, appraisal personnel will be analyzing recent sales that took place over the last two to three years to determine which market factors influenced property values. Once all the data is collected and reviewed for accuracy, the appraiser will determine land values and set neighborhood site indexes that indicate the market desirability of various Portland neighborhoods.
PHASE 3: VALUATION
Valuation is done using one or more of the three recognized methods: Sales Comparison, Cost and Income approaches to value. During this phase, individual characteristics of buildings are analyzed using information gathered in phases 1 and 2.
The Sales Comparison or Market approach is the most widely used, particularly for residential properties. This approach to property valuation uses information on recent open-market, arm’s-length sale prices. Differences in the characteristics of recently sold properties - use, size, location, quality of buildings, and so on - have an influence on prices. The Sales Comparison uses similar, comparable properties to determine a fair market value.
The Cost Approach to property valuation is a formula that uses the replacement or reproduction cost of improvements, less accrued depreciation. This is then added to the land value to determine the total property value.
The Income Approach to property valuation involves estimating the future income stream of the property and applying a capitalization rate to project that income stream to a present value.
PHASE 4: FINAL and Q/A REVIEW
Final Review is the phase of checking and re-checking both the values that have been determined and the data that has been collected. During this review, properties are viewed in the field by experienced appraisers and the City Assessor, who double check uniformity and accuracy of information. Quality Assurance checks are conducted to find any data anomalies that exist.
PHASE 5: INFORMAL HEARINGS
Once the Final Review is completed, a Notice of New Values will be mailed to each property owner. Anyone with questions concerning the revaluation process or about the data collected on their property has an opportunity to meet with a member of Tyler’s staff to discuss their property value and correct any errors found in the data collection or property valuation process.
Once the informal hearings have been completed, the City Assessor will commit the new values and tax bills will be sent out in the Fall of 2020 that reflect the Fiscal Year 2021 property valuations.
Whether the revaluation affects your property tax bill will depend on how accurate our current assessment is for your property. Some taxpayers may see a decrease in their tax bill, others may see a increase, while others may see their tax bill remain about the same.
The best way to ensure that your property is correctly valued, and that Portland’s tax burden is fairly distributed, is to ensure our information on your property is as accurate as possible. Please contact the Assessor’s Office if you have any questions or concerns about the process as we proceed.
Thank you very much for your help!
For more information on revaluation and answers to common questions about the process, please review the information below or call a revaluation representative at:
Revaluation Helpline - 207-874-8763
Revaluation Program Information
- 2019 Revaluation Program Overview
- Assessment Brochure Mailed to Residences April 2019
- Revaluations - Understanding the Process and the Myths (Maine Revenue Services)
- Understanding Your Assessment
- Policy and Procedures of Assessment Staff Conducting Field Work
- Commercial Data Mailer News Flash
- Commercial Data Mailer Letter
- Commercial Income and Expense Statement Portland
- Residential Data Mailer Sample
- Revaluation Project Op-Ed Column
- Commercial Revaluation Presentation Slides from 11-1-19
- Residential Revaluation Presentation Slides from 11-25-19
- Why do we need a Revaluation?
- Technology used in the Revaluation Process
- Valuation: Analyzing and Assigning Values
- Receiving your new value notice: Accept or Appeal?
- Commercial Revaluation Forum Presentation from 11-1-2019
- Residential Revaluation Forum Presentation from 11-25-2019
Videos in Spanish
PAST meetings and events
11/1/19 - Commercial Property Owners Forum on Revaluation - 11:30am Rines Auditorium at Portland Public Library Links to slides and video from this presentation are below
11/25/19 - Residential Property Owners Forum on Revaluation - 5:30pm Rines Auditorium at Portland Public Library
Links to slides and video from this presentation are below
Upcoming outreach, community and neighborhood meetings will be posted here