LISBON — Tax bills are being mailed later than usual this year, but taxpayers will still have a full 30 days to pay before interest is charged, town councilors decided Tuesday night.

The current tax rate of $22.26 per thousand dollars of valuation is expected to increase to $23.

In addition to presenting his tax rate calculations, assessor William Van Tuinen brought councilors up to date on the progress of his townwide revaluation.

The town will have to raise $10.3 million in taxes to pay more than $500,000 in county taxes; $6.7 million for town services; and $5.7 million for schools. The town’s real estate value is about $430 million; personal property is valued at $23 million.

Tax bills are usually sent out in July or August, but the town hadn’t received all the revenue information it needed to set the tax rate until recently.

“I would just like to make sure the taxpayers get the full 30 days from the time the tax bills are sent out,” Councilor Mark Lunt said.


Other councilors agreed.

Ordinarily, the first half of the year’s taxes are due Sept. 15.

Town Manager Steve Eldridge said the bills will probably go out Friday.

Council Chairman Fern Larochelle said, “If there is some hardship along the way, I think the town will be open to a further delay.”

“I think that’s a fairly reasonable approach,” Van Tuinen said. Councilors set the interest rate on overdue taxes at 7 percent, the same as in recent years.

Van Tuinen said the revaluation, which began in 2012, will be completed by 2015. Asked why it will take four years when other towns have done it in a year, Van Tuinen said Lisbon is bigger than most towns.


“Are you seeing a lot of dramatic changes?” Councilor Dillon Pesce asked.

“It’s hard to answer that question at this point,” Van Tuinen said. “We’ll know more when we get toward the end of the process. I’m putting the most emphasis on sales,” he said, referring to sale prices of properties. “The market may be different in 2015 than it is now, so we won’t finalize our numbers until then.

“We take a really independent approach,” he said. “We don’t look at the old property cards. We go out and see each property, measure the exterior, take a photograph, and take notes about the exterior of the house.”

If there is no one home, a card is left explaining that the assessors would like to see the interior as well. If it looks like the property is no longer occupied, property owners are sent a letter asking that they call for an appointment to allow an inspection of the interior.

Councilor Lisa Ward asked if there is any way the assessors can publicize their presence when they move from one neighborhood to another.

Van Tuinen said he could send out a news release.

All the assessors have identification, and, according to Eldridge, police dispatchers have the names of the assessors if homeowners want to verify their identity.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: