City’s state valuation takes big dip; other communities hit record highs

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Old Town should be seeing a decrease in its share of the county tax, along with an increase in state funding, after a sharp in its valuation by the state.

Each year Maine Revenue Services certifies the full equalized value of all real and personal property which is subject to taxation under the laws of Maine for all cities and towns in the state. Those valuation figures are used for numerous purposes, such as county tax assessments, municipal revenue sharing, and school subsidies; if a community’s valuation increases at a race outpacing others, it will see an increase in assessments and declines in revenue sharing and subsidies. State valuation lags actual market values and municipal assessments by nearly two years by the time it is final and certified, meaning the current state figures represents the full equalized value of all taxable property in communities as they were in early 2016.

As a result of the valuation of the mill being lowered in the Expera tax battle Old Town dropped sharply, from a valuation of $473.7 million to $447.9 million. That is the city’s lowest valuation since at least 2006.

Other area communities, meanwhile, saw their valuations surge higher, particularly Orono, which jumped from $425.5 million to $456.8 million, mainly because of large-scale student housing projects. Additionally, Alton rose from $41.9 million to $42.5 million; Greenbush increased from $57.9 million to $64.8 million; Milford rose from $178.4 million to $186.3 million; and the Penobscot Indian Nation rose from just over $9 million to $9.4 million. It is believed the valuations for Orono, Alton, Greenbush, Milford and the Penobscot Indian Nation all hit record highs, which in most cases had previously been set in 2010, before the effects of the financial crisis of 2008 were factored in. Bradley, meanwhile dipped a small amount, from $111.7 million to $110.7 million.

The valuation for Penobscot County as a whole rose as well, to $10.93 billion, or about $50 million more than last year. That figure, too, was an all-time peak valuation.