POLAND — The Poland Select Board may be looking at employing an across-the-board flat rate increase to all property assessments next spring, as suggested by the town’s assessor at Wednesday night’s Select Board meeting
Labeling it a stop-gap measure, Rob Duplisea of RJD Appraisal of Lewiston, said the town’s certified ratio between assessed property value and market value has widened significantly since 2012 when the town was last valuated.
Recent spikes in real estate sales have caused a significant difference between the assessed and market values.
Last year, Poland’s certified ratio was 95%. This year, when the town set its tax rate, the ratio was 86%.
The decrease to 86% reduced the town’s valuation from $821.78 million to $803.77 million.
Duplisea said reduction in the certified ratio also means eligible property taxpayers receive less for their Homestead Exemption.
He told the Select Board that the difference in the ratio could drop in 2023 to 70%, the state’s minimum.
Town Manager Matt Garside said the Select Board has the authority to set a flat rate increase in property assessments without going to the voters.
In other business, Barry Kutzen spoke to the board about the health of Middle Range Pond, particularly the algae bloom he discovered recently as a volunteer lake monitor. He believes more power boat traffic is one cause of the problem, as well as climate, acid rain and shoreline erosion.
Admitting he did not have any data to back up his claim on power boats, Kutzen said a research study on the issue is being conducted by Scott Williams, retired executive director of Lake Stewards of Maine.
The board and Kutzen agreed that an overall examination of all causes to the possible detriment to the pond should be conducted in order to come up with ways to prevent further environmental harm.
The Select Board also appointed David McKenney to the Ricker Memorial Library board of trustees.
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