The Portland Assessors Office announced Thursday that revaluation notices will be mailed to property owners about four weeks later than planned because it took longer than expected to finalize new commercial property values.

The notices were originally scheduled to be mailed the week of May 31, but now won’t be mailed until June 28.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted different sectors of the real estate market in unanticipated ways,” City Tax Assessor Christopher Huff said in a news release. “We are seeing higher vacancy and capitalization rates in certain sub-sectors of the commercial real estate market that must be taken into account as we work to set new values as of the April 1, 2021, assessment date.”

The city’s last revaluation was done in 2006, and property values have changed dramatically.

Most of the field work for the new revaluation was conducted in 2019 and 2020, but the process was delayed last year because of the pandemic.

Once property owners have received their revaluation notices, the final phase of the project will begin and they can file appeals if they disagree with the new assessed value. Appeals will be filed directly with Tyler Technologies’ CLT Appraisal Services, the vendor assisting the Assessors Office with the revaluation.

Huff said the delay in mailing revaluation notices will have no impact on the appeals process, which will take place remotely over the summer months. Once all the appeals have been heard and decided, the city will use the new property values to determine each property owner’s tax bill.

Huff said the new property tax bills will be mailed out around Labor Day.

Maine law stipulates that a property’s assessed value should reflect what it could sell for on the open market. Earlier this year, Maine Revenue Services informed Huff that current assessed values in Portland are averaging about 66 percent of market value, below the state minimum of 70 percent. Huff said the revaluation should bring those numbers back into compliance.

The goal of revaluations in Maine is to equally distribute the property tax burden, with one-third of property owners seeing an increase in their tax bills, one-third staying about the same, and one-third seeing their bills decrease. The Maine Constitution requires that municipalities conduct property revaluations every 10 years.

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