AUBURN – Auburn City Manager Pat Finnigan met with the Auburn-Lewiston Rotary Breakfast Club to discuss the recent citywide revaluation.

She thanked members for the work they do in support of the community, specifically the Boys and Girls Club, of which Finnigan is a board member. She shared with the 40-plus members and guests the background and future actions planned concerning the revaluation.

Finnigan said cities are required to perform a revaluation periodically to ensure they meet state standard. The ratio of assessed value of property to the fair market value must be at least 70 percent. It is unfair, according to state law, to have similar properties assessed at different values. Over time, the values change as properties are sold.

Finnigan said the city began the revaluation a few years ago to reflect the increased market value of Auburn real estate. She noted that the last revaluation, which was completed nearly 15 years ago, brought a similar response from residents.

The city, she said, sent out estimates early to give taxpayers an opportunity to understand the new values, challenge their individual assessed values if necessary, and provide feedback on the process.

“It seems to have worked,” she said. Questions about individual properties should be addressed to the assessors’ office. “I know people are sometimes hesitant to talk with staff,” said Finnigan, “but they want to hear from taxpayers and are anxious to help.”

Finnigan emphasized that the process is not yet complete and encouraged residents to express their views and expect some changes before the final assessment is completed next spring.

Finnigan addressed some misconceptions. For example, she said, some people think Wal-Mart got a tax break from the city, but she said it did not.

She also noted that businesses pay a real estate tax, just like homeowners do, but they also pay a personal property tax on their machinery and equipment. Therefore, for many of the city’s large businesses, the bulk of their tax burden is from their personal property tax. Personal property taxes amount to about 20 percent of the city’s taxes.

For more information about the Breakfast Club or its work in the community, contact President Johanna Lloyd at 786-5700.

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