LEWISTON — The city is moving ahead with plans to conduct a citywide property revaluation, but the costs and timeline for the project have both grown.

In a presentation to the City Council on Tuesday, city staff said a request-for-proposals to conduct the overdue revaluation yielded two responses — one coming from the company that recently completed a revaluation in Portland. However, officials said both proposals carry a price tag higher than originally anticipated, and would not be complete until April 1, 2025.

Last spring, city staff expected the 18-month process to update the values of some 11,700 parcels in Lewiston to begin in 2023, but an initial request-for-proposals seeking a revaluation completed by the spring of 2024 did not receive a single bid.

Lewiston has not done a full revaluation since 1988, and a planned one in 2006 was tabled due to the recession. City Assessor Bill Healey has said that Lewiston homes, on average, are assessed and taxed at three-quarters of their full market value. Once the new values are implemented, Lewiston’s property tax rate is expected to decrease significantly, but for some homeowners a large swing in valuation could increase annual property taxes.

Some officials have argued for years that Lewiston’s low assessments have led to an inflated property tax rate, which could be a deterrent for residents or businesses looking to relocate. Healey has said that if Lewiston properties were assessed at “full value,” the tax rate would be closer to $23 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, rather than the current rate of about $28.

On Tuesday, Healey said the city received bids from Tyler Technologies and Vision Government Solutions for the project, with two very different price estimates. The bid from Tyler Technologies came in at roughly $574,000, while Vision’s was $899,000.


Healey told officials that his preference was Vision due to its client list and overall proposal, but several councilors pointed to the overall cost difference and Tyler Technologies’ recent project in Portland. Healey said a third party found Vision’s proposal to be superior.

Healey, as well as several councilors, also said the public relations piece of the project would also be important, recognizing that revaluations are often controversial.

Mayor Carl Sheline said he expected city staff to be on the “front line” of fielding taxpayer concerns regardless of the public relations campaign.

“The public will have to understand exactly how it’s moving forward,” Councilor Linda Scott said.

Councilor Bob McCarthy said his biggest concern is accuracy, “so taxpayers feel comfortable that the city is being honest.”

“I don’t know how we judge that,” he said.


Councilor Larry Pease pointed out the cost difference between the two proposals, stating, “We can buy a lot of (public relations) for $367,000.”

Pease also added that he’s concerned about the timing of a revaluation now, as home sales prices have ballooned over the last few years. Staff said once property owners receive revaluation notices, they can file appeals if they disagree with the new assessed value.

“At the end of the day, they give me the numbers and I have to sign off on them,” Healey said. “If I’m not satisfied ,we go back and look at them again.”


Also on Tuesday, the council voted unanimously to support a proclamation stating all members of the council, including the mayor, have equal opportunity to share views.

The document, outlining council protocols such as the duties and conduct of the council and mayor, followed an earlier proposal that would have limited the mayor’s ability to comment on council items. The proposal stemmed from councilor disagreements over the mayor’s conduct in previous meetings.

The vote occurred following no comments from either the council or public.

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