TURNER – Maine Revenue Services estimated that Turner’s state valuation will increase by 19% next year, according to its preliminary assessment sent to the town manager late last month.

Each year, Maine Revenue Services’ property tax division completes a mass appraisal of all taxable properties across the state. It calculates, based on those appraisals, market and sale prices and other studies, the total equalized value of all taxable property — or state valuation — for each municipality.

A town’s state valuation is used to determine revenue-sharing figures and town shares for county and school district budgets, for example.

According to the preliminary assessment, Turner’s state valuation in 2023 will increase by $111.85 million compared to the 2022 valuation, for a total valuation of $704.4 million.

Turner Rescue Department bought a new ambulance chassis with a reconditioned box for about half the price of a totally new ambulance, Town Manager Kurt Schaub said. Submitted photo

“A chunk of this is no doubt due to the higher prices that’s been paid for home and properties throughout the state of Maine,” Town Manager Kurt Schaub said Tuesday.

He said he’s heard anecdotally that other municipalities’ valuations have increased “fairly substantially as well but has yet to see any numbers.


“This provides an apples-to-apples comparison for all communities for certain financial purposes,” Schaub said. Where this increase will likely have the most impact is on Turner’s annual share of the school district and county budgets.

The state tax assessor must certify the valuation figures with the secretary of state by Feb. 1 each year.

In other news, the town’s rescue department has a new ambulance.

Schaub said Public Safety Director and Rescue Chief Lisa Bennett secured the used ambulance for about half the price of a new one.

An ambulance, which generally has a box in the back and the chassis with cab it sits on, can go for about $290,000 for a new one, Schaub said.

Bennett was able to track down a used box for $8,000 and ordered a new chassis for it. A company in New Jersey reconditioned the box and mounted it on the chassis and for about $138,000, Turner has an ambulance that’s “as good as new.”


Bennett was appointed public safety director, in addition to her position as rescue chief, about a month ago, Schaub said.

In July, Nathan Guptill, a 20-year veteran of the Fire Department, resigned as its chief.

Nick Merry, who has been a per diem firefighter with the department, was appointed deputy fire chief.

Selectmen approved an $8,000 increase to Bennett’s salary for her new title, for a total of $74,000 a year. Merry will receive a $4,000 stipend to serve as a deputy fire chief, in addition to his hourly rate as a per diem firefighter.

Schaub also said he, a few selectmen and representatives from the Fire and Rescue departments met with Maine Department of Transportation engineers last week to discuss the Route 4/117 intersection improvements.

“(We) generally expressed our concern over the installation of a traffic signal at that intersection,” the town manager said.

“They responded with some facts and statistics that indicate our concerns were unfounded and we, however, disagree,” Schub said.

He said the town has asked MDOT to at least install the planned traffic signal at Weston Road first, or to clear some of the trees on the northbound side of the intersection to improve the sightline for vehicles approaching southbound.

“They were no commitments made on their part,” Schaub said. He said he did not know what MDOT’s next steps would be. The Board of Selectmen asked him to write MDOT a letter to reiterate its concerns.

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