Tax Abatements and Appeals

If the property owner is not satisfied with the set valuation of their property, they do have an option to apply for a tax abatement.  Abatement is the process by which assessed taxes may be reduced either in whole or in part.  Abatements may be made because of overvaluation of the property, unjust discrimination in assessment, or illegality of assessment.  Please see below for abatement application and other information.

Casco Abatement Application 2017

Falmouth Abatement Application 2017

Gorham Abatement Application 2017

Yarmouth Abatement Application 2017

  • No abatement will be granted without a completed abatement application.  Sufficient documentation is required to be provided with your application to support your abatement request.  P{lease provide a recent unedited real estate appraisal of your property, completed by a licensed appraiser, if available.

  • Applications for abatement must be submitted within 185 days from the date of commitment.

  • The burden of proof is upon the taxpayer to show that his/her property is over assessed in relation to other properties in the municipality.  The presumption is that the assessment is valid.  A person disputing an assessment must prove indisputably.
    1. that he/she was "over rated" in the sense of overestimation of the property above its true value or;
    2. that his/her property was taxed on the basis of just value or a certain percentage thereof, while the assessor assessed other similar properties at a lesser percentage or just value;
    3. the taxpayer has received the subject property record card and if information on the said card is incorrect, has brought said errors to the assessor's attention.
  • A property owner's opinion that his/her property assessment is too high is insufficient for granting an abatement.  There is a presumption of correctness on the part of the assessor.  In order to prevail, the property owner must submit clear and convincing evidence that the property was overvalued by 10%.  This may include:
    1. Evidence the assessment is in error due to dimensional errors, nonexistent features, incorrect material, or type of construction.
    2. Unusual change, damage or deterioration of the property or any detracting features unique to the property as of April 1 of that year.
  • You are required to pay your taxes on the tax due dates even though you have filed for an abatement.  If an adjustment is made to your valuation you will receive notification and your tax amount will be adjusted accordingly by the tax collector.
MRSA Title 36, Section 848-A states: In any proceedings relating to a protested assessment, it shall be sufficient defense of such assessment that it is accurate within reasonable limits, of practicality, except when proven deviation of 10% or more from the relevant assessment ratio of the municipality exists.  In other words, if the Town's assessment ratio is 100%, then your property's assessment is reasonable if it falls within 10% of its market value.

The assessor has 60 days to respond to any abatement application.  During that period, the assessor can either grant the full amount of requested abatement or part of the requested amount.  The assessor may also deny the abatement outright.  If the assessor does not respond within the 60 days, this is also considered a denial of abatement.

If the assessor denies an abatement, the property owner has the opportunity within 60 days of the denial to appeal this decision to a Board of Assessment Review.  Please contact the Regional Assessing Office for more information concerning this topic.

For the Falmouth Board of Assessment Review, please use the following application.
-Falmouth BAR Application

State Bulletin 10 is issued by the Maine Revenue Service and contains more detailed information concerning the  property tax abatement process.