The tax bills, which are expected to be mailed out early next month, will reflect a 5 percent increase in spending as well as a 15 percent increase in valuation for residential and seasonal properties. The value on commercial land also was increased by 15 percent.
"Everyone is going to find their valuations are up," Pearson said Thursday.
While the values increased in order to improve the town's sales ratio and to avoid a reduction in state funds, the mill rate actually dropped from $23.70 to $21.40 per $1,000 valuation this year.
Had the new valuations not been put into place, Pearson said, the mill rate would have increased to $24.40 per $1,000 valuation.
The problem stems from properties that sold for more than they were valued on the town books. Property sales in the town got "pretty hot" in the past few years, Pearson said.
The Town Council has awarded a contract for a full revaluation of the town, but that process will not get under way until later this year, too late for any of the new values to be incorporated into this year's taxes, according to Pearson.
Maine communities should be taxing properties at or near 100 percent of their market value, but in Dexter's case, residential and seasonal properties were being taxed at 77 percent of market value and commercial properties at 88 percent of market value.
The sales ratio is figured by comparing the town's property valuation to the actual selling price of properties.
The 15 percent increase in revaluation will bring residential, seasonal and commercial properties into the 90 percent category, which is acceptable by state officials, according to Pearson.
Had the values not been increased, the homestead exemption would have been reduced from $13,000 to $10,010 and the veterans exemption from $5,000 to $3,850, Pearson said.
"By raising residential and commercial land values 15 percemt, and residential building values 15 percent, we are restoring the full value of the exemptions and the reimbursements," Pearson said.
In addition, the assessor said he would have had to reduce the values on personal property, electric utilities and tree growth values to compensate for the difference.
"This would have meant a loss to our valuation base of $1,166,535, $476,031, and $112,640 respectively for this year," Pearson said.
With the new values in place, an owner of property valued at $100,000 who qualifies for both a veteran's and homestead exemption would pay $2,075.80 in taxes. Without the adjustment in valuation, the same property owner would pay $2,101.82.
In comparison, an owner of property valued at $100,000 who does not qualify for either exemption would pay $2,461 in taxes. Without the change in valuation, the same homeowner would have paid slightly less, $2,440.
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