UPTON — Residents at a special town meeting last week narrowly defeated a request to have a complete property revaluation done.

Treasurer and tax collector Jim Rector said Tuesday afternoon that the vote was 14 yes to 16 no.

He said the town has not had a revaluation for nearly 30 years, causing some home and camp owners to pay more and some to pay less than what they should.

He said the town’s valuation is just over 70 percent of what the market value is. The current tax rate is $8.40 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

“No one has looked at properties to see what condition they are in. Often properties are automatically increased,” he said. “A lot of homeowners and camp owners are paying too much.”

Also, he said some of the many camps and lake houses located in the woods or around Lake Umbagog may be undervalued. He said some have sold for three times the amount of their tax assessment.

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Of the 350 tax bills that will likely go out by the end of the month, he said at least two-thirds of them are for camps and lake houses that generally have out-of-town owners. The town’s permanent population is just over 60 people, with about 80 listed as residents.

Rector said approval of a revaluation, estimated to cost $28,000, could have been spread over two budget years, an advantage he said that would have also been helped by a drop in school tuition for the town’s dwindling number of students.

Upton youngsters are generally transported to SAD 44 schools.

He said selectmen may decide at the Tuesday (Sept. 7) board meeting on the next step to take in the tax revaluation process.

Rector said another request for approval of a revaluation may be put on the annual town meeting warrant in March.

eadams@sunjournal.com

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