South Portland Assessor Elizabeth Sawyer has committed taxes for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, calculating a new property tax rate of $16.70 per $1,000 of valuation, up 20 cents from last year’s tax rate.

That means that the median single-family home is South Portland still valued at $195,000, according to South Portland Deputy Assessor Robert Tripp can expect a tax bill this year of $3,256, an increase of $39.

“That is less than what was projected during budget season due to increased state funding for the schools, as well as a slightly higher overall valuation,” she said Monday.

South Portland’s new valuation, based on new development and property sales over the past year, is $3.56 billion, a year-to-year spike of $9.32 million. The city assessment remains at 100 percent of the state valuation, while its quality rating, more technically known as the coefficient of dispersion, is an “8.”

“That is excellent,” said Sawyer. “The higher the number, the more ‘out of whack’ the assessments are, meaning that while you could have an average assessment ratio of 100 percent, some properties might be assessed at 50 percent or even 150 percent of their market value, which would generate a high deviation.”

To remain in compliance with state regulations, a municipal assessment must have an average ratio of at least 70 percent and a quality rating of no more than 20.

“Sales have seemed to pick up somewhat this past year, and there does seem to be some lack of inventory,” said Sawyer. “South Portland remains a popular destination for buyers.”

Property tax payments are due in quarters, on Aug. 15, Nov. 21, Feb. 13 and May 8. Appeals of assessments must be filed before Jan. 15, 2014.

– Duke Harrington

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