FARMINGTON — Franklin County’s valuation has increased by $92.6 million since last year, with all but four towns and the unorganized territory, as a whole, seeing an increase in property value.

The state certified valuation for the county is $4.44 billion for 2020-21 compared to $4.35 billion in 2019-20.

The county’s overall budget approved for 2020-21 in July is about $6.8 million, which is about $76,000 more than last year. The amount includes both county government services and the jail. There is a percentage cap in relation to what the county can assess the towns for the jail, Clerk Julie Magoon said.

County commissioners unanimously voted July 29 to set the tax rate at $1.32 per $1,000 of valuation for 2020-21, an increase of 4 cents from last year’s rate.

The amount to be assessed to towns, townships and plantations will be $5.86 million, including $38,017 in overlay, according to Magoon’s information.

The total estimated revenue factored in to offset the assessments is $651,000. Of that amount $139,000 is from the undesignated fund balance compared to $238,000 used in 2019-20.

Magoon told commissioners July 29 that she didn’t feel comfortable using any more than the $139,000. She doesn’t know what will happen with unexpected expenses, capital expenses or otherwise, including COVID-19, she said.

The state valuation “process, which takes about 18 months to complete, begins with the compilation of a sales ratio study which measures the assessed value of residential and certain commercial properties relative to their actual selling price,” according to a state website. The valuation “lags actual market values and municipal assessments by nearly two years by the time it is final and certified,” according the state.

Carrabassett Valley’s valuation of about $658 million, which is the highest in the county, increased by $35.5 million this year.

The increase is due to a “combination of new construction, housing improvements and a lot to do with sale prices on homes in (Carrabassett Valley) which continue to escalate even or more so in the face of the pandemic,” according to Town Manager Dave Cota.

The town is slated to pay $868,626 in county taxes.

Farmington’s state certified valuation increased to $465.05 million, which is $24 million more than its state valuation from last year.

The town’s county tax assessment for the town is $613,866.

Towns that show decreases in state valuations are Carthage,  Jay, Sandy River Plantation and Weld. Jay has dropped $800,000 from 2019-20. The town is valued at $548.1 million for this year compared to $548.9 million last year. Jay will see an increase in taxes of $15,413 to make that assessment $723,558.

Jay was the highest valued town in the county for at least 14 years before it dropped to second highest.

“The reduction reflects a combination of the decline in the paper industry and subsequent shut down of one of Verso’s paper machines during the period that the valuation is based on along with the effect of the town’s Sudden and Severe value adjustment,” Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said.

The loss of valuation to the town and Androscoggin Mill, now owned by Pixelle Specialty Solutions LLC, in regards to the April 15 explosion is not factored in to the valuation.

LaFreniere said it is anticipated that Jay’s state valuation will increase next year.

Sandy River Plantation, home to Saddleback Mountain ski area, lost about $2 million in valuation.

“It was because of Saddleback being closed for four years,” according to Town Clerk Evelyn L. Beaulieu.  “Now that it is going to open in December of this year it will help out a lot.  Most of Saddleback is in Sandy River Plantation. That’s what helps keep our tax base down.”

The plantation’s county assessment increased about $1,081 from 2019-20.

The unorganized territory state valuation in the county decreased by $31.65 million from last year to make it $311.15 million. The taxes assessed for this year are $410,718.

Franklin County
2020-21 2020-21 2019-20 2019-20
Valuation Tax Valuation Tax
Avon $44.1 $58,212 $42.5 $54,825
Carrabassett Valley $658.05 $868,626 $622.55 $803,090
Carthage $82.15 $108,438 $82.85 $106,877
Chesterville $101.05 $133,386 $96.5 $124,485
Coplin Plantation $44 $58,080 $43.75 $56,438
Dallas Plantation $135.35 $178,662 $134.6 $173,634
Eustis $175.85 $232,122 $167.3 $215,817
Farmington $465.05 $613,866 $441.05 $568,955
Industry $96.75 $127,710 $93.35 $120,422
Jay $548.15 $723,558 $548.95 $708,145
Kingfield $141 $186,120 $120.05 $154,864
New Sharon $107.7 $142,164 $101.55 $131,000
New Vineyard $80 $106 $76.85 $99,137
Phillips $84.6 $111,672 $83.4 $107,586
Rangeley $523 $690,360 $521.05 $672,155
Rangeley Plantation $202.95 $267,894 $201.25 $259,613
Sandy River Plantation $124.2 $163,944 $126.25 $162,863
Strong $85.6 $112,992 $83.65 $107,909
Temple $47 $62,040 $40.6 $52,374
Weld $120.35 $158,862 $121.25 $156,413
Wilton $267.4 $352,968 $260.75 $336,368
*Valuations in millions *Tax is rounded up.

 


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