PARIS – A reassessment has caused a wide range of property value adjustments, both up and down, but the tax rate has gone down.

Town Assessor Kevin McGillicuddy on Monday announced a new tax rate of $14.96 per $1,000 in property valuation. The number reflects a drop of nearly $8 from last year’s rate of $22.73 per $1,000.

Just because some people saw their property values double, Town Manager Steve McAllister said, “that doesn’t mean their taxes are going to double.”

A reassessment is intended to set the value of all properties at a figure as close to going market rate as possible, McGillicuddy has explained. According to the state’s projected valuation for the town of Paris, the community is now assessed at 98 percent of its full market value.

Just last year that number was at only 72 percent, which can cause the state to withhold a percentage of property tax exemptions, McGillicuddy said.

He said the last full reassessment in Paris was done in the late 1970s. After that, there was an update in the 1980s. In the years since, the valuation on many of Paris’ properties stayed flat, even while their market values rose or fell.

“We found cases where the house was actually way overvalued before and was never adjusted,” McGillicuddy said, explaining why some valuations dropped 22 to 33 percent.

Now, he said, “the town is on an equal playing field.”

He also explained that he intends to keep property valuations updated so the town does not have to go through such an extensive reassessment again.

Only about 7 percent of property owners, or 176 people, made appointments to discuss their adjusted property valuations, McGillicuddy said.

Selectman Gerald Kilgore asked how any budget surplus resulting from the change in property values and the tax rate would be handled.

“It’s just like the state – if they got a lot of surplus they’re gonna run out and buy what they can,” he said.

The new tax rate is already based on the town budget set at last year’s town meeting, Selectman Ray Glover said. “We’re still raising the same amount of money, it’s just that it’s distributed differently among the property values.”

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