Because of an oversight in figuring Raymond’s total real estate value, the Board of Selectmen voted to amend the tax assessments Tuesday night to reflect a reduction in the town’s taxable property value.

The oversight, caused when the town’s tax assessor failed to factor in property tax exemptions into the town’s total valuation, will not result in a higher tax rate for residents or businesses.

The original commitment and the resulting mill rate were based on a local valuation of $964,350,000. But this figure did not reflect a reduction by the Homestead, Blind and Veteran’s Exemptions, which total nearly $14 million. With these exemptions factored in, the town’s reconfigured taxable real estate valuation is $950,550,000.

The valuation error was not discovered until last Friday afternoon. Although the amount of the discrepancy would have warranted the town to set a higher mill rate, town officials have decided to keep the rate at $9.30 per $1,000 valuation, as originally determined.

“Had the error been discovered earlier, no doubt we would have set a higher rate,” said Town Manager Don Willard at Tuesday’s meeting.

Willard said that the town received the reports a week late from Vision Appraisal Technologies, resulting in a push for them to set a tax rate and generate tax bills in a timely fashion. Willard said the error was a “misunderstanding” on the part of Assessor’s Agent Amanda Simpson.

When contacted by phone on Wednesday, Simpson said that, because of the new format generated by Vision Technologies, she “failed to read the report accurately” and as a result “inadvertently did not subtract the exemptions.”

Because the town chose not to alter the mill rate, the overlay has been decreased from $245,100 to $166,700. Overlay is the figure allotted to offset the estimated amount incurred by abatements and uncollected taxes.

“Rather than change the tax rate we felt it would be more appropriate to take the risk and reduce the overlay,” Simpson said. “Hopefully that will be adequate.”

Tax bills are expected to go out by the end of this week. Although taxes are due Oct. 31, in a previous meeting, the selectmen voted to delay charging interest until 30 days after the bills are mailed in order to give residents ample time to pay.


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