(Title 36, M.R.S.A. Sections 841-850)
Abatements are reductions in one's property tax bill. They are granted when the assessor discovers an error in assessment or if the owner points such an error out. If the owner believes that the current value placed on their property is inaccurate, unfair, or overvalued relative to the current real estate market, they may take the following steps, in order:
- Review the property record card (available in the assessor's office) to assure the accuracy of its data
- Check sale prices of similar homes
- Provide evidence to the assessor that the property is overvalued
- Request a valuation review by the assessor
- Make a formal abatement request if not satisfied by the assessor
- Make a formal appeal to the local Board of Assessment Review.
The property owner has 185 days from the commitment date (which is usually around the first of August) to file a formal abatement request. The assessor may go back one year in granting an abatement. The Council may go back three years, but only to correct an illegality, error, irregularity in assessment. They may not grant an abatement to correct an error in valuation of property.
In making a formal abatement appeal the assessment is presumed valid and the burden is on the taxpayer to show that it is manifestly wrong in relation to just value. CMP v Town of Moscow, 649 A.2d 320 (ME.1994)
An application form for an abatement is available on the Maine Revenue Services website.