Pownal residents who have questions regarding recently completed appraisals of their property have the opportunity to question the appraisers themselves, RJD Appraisals of Pittsfield.

Appointments are necessary to attend the revaluation hearings, scheduled this week through Thursday, July 28, at Mallett Hall. Residents are advised to call 688-4611 for appointments.

“If we allowed walk-ins, you’d have lines out the door,” said Tim Giddinge, chairman of the Board of Selectmen. “You don’t want everybody coming in at once.”

The town paid approximately $68,000 for the appraisals because they were long overdue, Giddinge said.

“State law says you need to be within 70 percent of market value, and ours was between 45 and 47 percent,” he said. “We have been a long way away for a long time and a lot of residents were not happy with that.”

Giddinge said that questions regarding the appraisals might include land value – RJD might not have noticed swamp or other undesirable aspects of a large piece of property, for example.

“Land values have really changed a lot,” he said. “We used to have a base lot value for one acre and additional lot was valued at $248 an acre. That’s not nearly what land is worth today. You can’t put value on people’s properties when you’re not valuing land for what it’s really worth.”

RJD began inspecting property last fall.

“They did a condition report, with a grade,” he said. “After that they go around town and look at what property has sold in Pownal. They came up with values over the winter. Each house in town has a grade and a condition value.”

Houses that were sold allowed the appraisers to establish property values, Giddinge said. Giddinge said that the appraisers took an average of property sale prices to help them determine values.

“Most places have not been sold, but they are similar to some that have,” he said. “Prices are averaged. Appraisals and sale prices might not match. Some people might not understand that.”

The town will assess property values in August, Giddinge said, and then mail out tax bills.

Revaluation hearings continue on Wednesday and Thursday at Mallett Hall in Pownal.


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