NEW GLOUCESTER – A town-wide property revaluation is nearly finished and property owners will get new tax rates in 2004.

Part-time Assessor’s Agent Ken Allen, who resigned on June 30, led the past year-long effort to standardize property assessments.

New Gloucester’s last total revaluation was performed in 1990.

Newly-hired Assessors Agent Nancy Pinette was named this spring as New Gloucester’s first full-time assessor. She will complete the project.

“The act of revaluation is totally revenue neutral,” stated Allen in a recent memo to the five-member Board of Selectmen.

“It does not raise $1 in taxes, nor does it reduce taxes. It simply assures the equitable distribution of tax burden among the property owners of a given community. No more, no less,” said Allen.

The town is performing an in-house tax equalization project with contractual inspection and review assistance from O’Donnell Associates.

The updated values are scheduled to be implemented in 2004.

There are 2,499 parcels of land and a total of 30,000 taxable acres in New Gloucester, whose population is 4,803.

New Gloucester has 675 acres of land classified as farm woodland and 8,118 acres classified in Tree Growth Protection. In the town, 14,765 acres of land is undeveloped. Forty-eight commercial businesses account for value at roughly $16 million.

In the new valuation, lakefront property will be based on an Effective Front Foot methodology, using a declining unit value as lot frontage increases.

“The pricing schedules that I have developed can be considered to be a solid foundation upon which to build, but should not be considered the final product,” said Allen.

Next winter taxpayer hearings will be held and additional sales information will aid in developing the best pricing possible for New Gloucester.