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The Towns of South Berwick and North Berwick are 2 growing communities (Combined Pop. 13,000) located in Southern Maine. The town’s share an Assessor’s Agent based on a 3/5 South Berwick and 2/5 N. Berwick basis. For administrative purposes, the employee shall be considered an employee of S. Berwick and shall comply with all the provisions contained within the South Berwick Personnel Policy.
The Towns are seeking a knowledgeable, qualified, experienced Assessor to join our shared management team. The preferred candidate will be a Certified Maine Assessor with a minimum 7 years’ experience as well as thorough knowledge of real estate appraisal principles, techniques, procedures, laws and regulations. Experience with TRIO software is desirable as well as GIS/ERSI and AUTOCAD software and mapping.
This position shall remain open until filled with a 1st review of applications beginning May 1, 2021 and first interviews expected mid-May, 2021. The current Assessing Agent is retiring at the end of July 2021 after 15 years.
2020-2021 Tax Year
Assessment Date: 4/1/2020
Commitment Date: 8/11/2020
Due Dates: 9/30/2020 & 3/31/2021
Tax Rate: $17.50/$1,000
Certified Ratio: 100%
Interest Rate: 8%
Abatement Deadline: 2/12/2021
ASSESSOR’S OFFICE WEBSITE INFORMATION FY2020
The Assessor’s Office is responsible for the valuation of all real and personal property in South Berwick. This involves inspection of all new construction, alterations and additions as well as reviews of sales data for the purpose of updating and adjusting cost tables and recalculation of values on an annual basis. Other duties of the office include the maintenance of all property ownership records (deeds, addresses, etc.), property record cards, updating and maintaining the tax maps, administering exemptions, answering inquiries by property owners, appraisers, real estate agents and other members of the public.
The taxable valuation for the 2020/21 tax year is $ 750,902,100. This includes taxable real estate with a total of $ 745,642,600 and taxable business personal property with a total of $ 5,259,500. The value of exempt property is currently $ 131,074,300. South Berwick’s certified assessment ratio for the current tax year is 100%.
South Berwick’s land area measures 19,847 acres and is made up of 3129 land parcels. South Berwick has 3315 real estate accounts, 104 personal property accounts, and 156 exempt. The current tax rate is $ 17.50 per thousand dollars of valuation and breaks down as $10.99 for school, $6.01 for municipal and $0.51 for county.
Annually, the Assessor’s Office reviews valuations and makes adjustments to the valuations to include any additions and deletions. Part of the assessment process includes conducting an annual “sales ratio study”, which compares the actual selling prices of properties to assessments. The most recent study, conducted for the state valuation purposes, indicated the assessed values to be, on average, at less than 90% of market value requiring the town to make a valuation adjustment in an effort to avoid loss in value to Homestead and Veteran Exemptions.
NAME OR MAILING ADDRESS CHANGES: If you have legally changed your name from how it appeared on the deed to your property please contact us to update that information. We will need to make a copy of your DMV issued drivers license showing that change. Also, if you have moved or changed your mailing address, please contact us to update that information.
TAX CLUB: The South Berwick Tax Club allows you to spread your payments over 8 months. The deadline to enroll in the program is the end of August each year for the respective year. No late applications are accepted. Monthly payments must be made on time and no exceptions are granted. For more information, contact the Deputy Tax Collector, Heather Stanley at 207-384-3006.
PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS & PROPERTY TAX RELIEF
There are several forms of property tax relief available to Maine residents.
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION: The Homestead exemption offers a reduction to the property tax bill for qualifying residents. The exemption applies only to their primary residence. A qualifying applicant must apply by April 1st in order to receive the exemption for the upcoming tax year. A non-resident moving to Maine who is establishing residency may not see the exemption applied until the following tax year due to qualification requirements. The exempt amount of $25,000 is deducted from the property’s total taxable value. Applications can be obtained in the Assessor’s Office or downloaded from the website. As with all programs, applications received after April 1st will be kept on file for processing in the appropriate tax year.
VETERAN’S EXEMPTION: Any resident who was in active service in the armed forces of the US during a federally recognized war campaign period and if discharged or retired under honorable conditions, may be eligible for a $6,000 reduction in valuation. The veteran must have reached age 62. The age requirement is waived for veterans who are receiving a pension or compensation from the US Military for total disability. Applications can be picked up in the Assessor’s Office or downloaded from the website and must be filed a copy of their discharge documents and in the case of a disabled veteran, a copy of the VA Summary of Benefits, on or before April 1st in the Assessing Office of the year it will go into effect.
BLIND EXEMPTION: Any resident who is certified to be legally blind by their eye care professional is eligible for a $4,000 reduction in valuation. A letter from your eye care professional must be filed by April 1st in the Assessing Office of the year it will go in effect.
PROPERTY TAX FAIRNESS CREDIT: In 2013, the Legislature repealed the Maine Residents Property Tax and Rent Refund (“Circuit Breaker”) Program and replaced it with the Property Tax Fairness Credit. This annual property tax credit can be claimed on the Maine Individual Income Tax Form. The credit is available to any individual who (1) was a Maine resident during any part of the tax year, (2) owned or rented a home in Maine during any part of that year and lived in that home during that year, (3) had Maine adjusted gross income of no more than the amount specified by statute, and (4) paid property taxes on that home or paid rent to live in that home during that year which exceeded Maine adjusted gross income by the percentages specified by statute. The amount of the credit varies depending on individual circumstances. Forms and assistance in applying for the credit are available from Maine Revenue Services at: http://www.maine.gov/revenue/taxrelief/ or by calling 207-626-8475.