TOPSHAM — The Town of Topsham has decreased its tax rate from $19.15 per $1,000 of assessed value to $17.86 per $1,000 of assessed value.

For a home assessed at $200,000, that reduces the annual tax bill from $3,830 to $3,572 — a $258 decrease.

Town Manager Derek Scrapchansky said selectmen’s conservative approach to this year’s budget, a $49 million increase in valuation and increases in revenue from the state all contributed to the decrease.

Topsham property owners will receive their tax bills during the next few days and many will notice an increase in the assessed value of their properties, according to Scrapchansky.

“This increase reflects real estate sale prices continuing to increase in Topsham within the prior year,” he said. “The goal of the valuation increase is to keep town assessments reasonably close to 100% of market value. If the assessed values diverge too far from market value, state law would require proportional reductions to Homestead, Veteran and Blind exemptions.”

Reducing those exemptions would also reduce state reimbursement, causing an increase in property taxes, Scrapchansky said.

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