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Frequently Asked Questions
Does my property “qualify” for an appeal? The Board recognizes that the appeal process may be viewed as somewhat complicated, but we cannot provide legal advice. The Board can address these issues only through written decisions in litigated appeals. It is best to consult with an attorney who is familiar with property tax law because the failure to follow all steps properly may result in the dismissal of an appeal.
Do I need an attorney? The Board cannot tell a party to an appeal that it must have an attorney, but parties should recognize that cases vary in complexity. Some taxpayers in some cases may be able to raise well the issues they see as important without an attorney. On the other hand, experience teaches that many cases involve difficult issues or witnesses, such as appraisers, best presented through a knowledgeable attorney. Parties appearing without an attorney are held to the same standard of persuasion and proof, and to the same requirements of following procedures, as are applied when attorneys appear before the Board.
Can I appeal the assessed taxes on my home? Yes, but this process does not involve the Board of Property Tax Review. We have no jurisdiction over taxes on residential properties. Taxpayers should contact the assessing authority in the city or town in which they live.
My business taxes are too high. Whom can I contact about that? There are “business” taxes, such as sales, use, and excise taxes, that are not the subject of the Board’s jurisdiction. All challenges to property taxation begin with processes that are in place at the municipal level or with Maine Revenue Services. Where the municipality’s valuation of commercial (nonresidential) property is $1,000,000 or greater, whether one parcel or more than one valued in the aggregate, appeal procedures allow an aggrieved taxpayer to come before the Board after a decision at the municipal level.
How long must I wait until my appeal comes up for a hearing? There are always a number of appeals pending before the Board at any given time. It usually takes a number of months for any appeal to be reached and heard by the Board.
Can I continue to negotiate a settlement while I am waiting for a hearing? Yes. Parties can retain control of the resolution of a case at all times before the Board, after public deliberation, decides an appeal. It is not unheard of for parties to a case to settle their differences during a hearing before the Board. In such instances, the appeal being heard is dismissed, and the agreement made between the parties controls.