In the March 13 edition of the Sun Journal, Selectman Mark Cyr from Otisfield expressed concern that the governor’s property tax proposal would be devastating. He expressed concern that waterfront property owners would receive a disproportionate tax break and that it would prevent young couples from being able to buy property.

If some form of cap on property tax or assessments is not enacted, waterfront property owners and others who have rapidly appreciating property will be assessed taxes that are disproportionate to their ability to pay such a tax. Homeowners are not generating income from their investment. Their income is generated at the time of the sale of the property.

Under the governor’s proposal, towns will be able to recapture 5 years of the higher assessed rate. An alternative would allow an assessment on the capital gain upon the sale of the property. Those who own property that has increased at a greater rate would then pay a higher assessment than those whose homes have not increased as much.

Any tax reform will not affect the price of homes. A new buyer will be paying a market price whether or not tax reform is enacted. If some form of tax cap is enacted, it would actually make it easier for new home buyers because they will, with some degree of accuracy, be able to predict their tax liability for future years.

Stanley L. Tetenman, Poland



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