South Portland Property Taxes Are on the Rise, but how much?

Dated: July 11 2021

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The South Portland real estate market has been on the rise and the town has not reassessed since 2006. The town has been working on a reassessment since 2019 and the final news should be out soon. I have received calls from a few people thinking that their taxes are going up by 30%, this may be true in some cases but not from the samples that I took. A large increase could still be happening and could force long time residents into a difficult position.
According to the town website, residents should know by next month how much they will be paying. I pulled property values from different neighborhoods throughout the city and found assessed property values increased from 25% to 35%. It was a small sample and I pulled from different parts of the city. The largest increase which you might expect was in the Willard Beach Neighborhood.
So what does this mean?
As an example, a concerned resident in the Pleasantdale neighborhood called me with whom looked up their new assessed value in the online database and it came in at $422,000 versus the previous value of $277,000 or a staggering 34.3% increase in value (this happened to be one of the largest increases I pulled from the online database). Paying current taxes of $5,470, thinking she would see a 34.3% increase in overall taxes would put her at $8335. This is enough to have anyone largely worried and ready to pack their bags but there is more to the calculation.

Mill Rate
We get this question a lot, what the heck is the mill rate? The mill rate is how much you pay per thousand. The current mill rate in South Portland is $19.75 per thousand. Using the above example, The 2020 taxes were calculated off the assessed value of $277,000. To compute the taxes; $277(number of thousands) X $19.75 (taxes paid per thousand)= $5470. Using the same formula with the new assessed value, we reach $8335. That would be insane! That would be a yearly increase of $2865 or $238 per month. Here is where we get a little bit of a reprieve. According to the online database there will be no final tax rate set until the week of July 4th. However, it does state that they anticipate a mill rate of $16.00 or perhaps a little lower. Again, using the above example, and for easy math let us use the the mill rate of $16.00. $422 (new assessed value in thousands) X $16 (mill rate) = $6,752. A $1,282 increase in taxes or just under $107 a month increase. This is still almost a 19% increase in annual taxes and could force some of the residents into a tough spot. No one is ever happy about an increase in taxes and hopefully we see a mill rate that falls below the $16 mark. This was just one example and the figures vary greatly throughout the city. You can access the online database below to find your new assessed value. Here is also the cities website for more information.
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Matt Whitten

A long-time resident of South Portland, Matt studied at the University of Southern Maine and later, earned his undergraduate degree in Business Administration at the University of Phoenix. He has over....

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