The 2019 Property Revaluation for the City of Bath is now complete. This page contains links to the sales data used to complete the revaluation, the tables used to create property valuations, and summaries of the results of the 2019 revaluations.
The City of Bath completed a city-wide revaluation of all real property in Bath, effective as of April 1, 2019. In order to ensure that the City’s tax burden is shared fairly among all property owners, it’s necessary to update our descriptions and valuations of properties throughout the City. On average, Bath’s valuations both before and after the revaluation were approximately 100% of market value. Bath’s last revaluation was completed in 2005, and many properties have changed significantly since then. That creates the potential that some Bath properties are either over-assessed or under-assessed, relative to others. The goal in the revaluation is to improve the fairness of our property values, so that all Bath taxpayers are treated similarly.
The appraisal firm of Vision Government Solutions was hired by the City of Bath to complete the revaluation project. Vision’s Appraisal division worked closely with the Assessor’s Office to make the process a successful one. The following is a general outline and explanation of each phase of the project.
There are five major phases to a municipal revaluation: Data Collection, Market Analysis, Valuation, Field Review and Informal Hearings.
The first phase, Data Collection, began in July, 2018 and lasted until approximately March of 2019. During this phase data collectors, also known as “Listers," visited properties throughout the City and physically inspected the interior and verified the measurements of the exterior of each building. These Listers note the building’s location, size, age, quality of construction, improvements, topography, utilities, zoning restrictions, if any, and numerous other characteristics both inside and out.
To ensure that a home was inspected, the homeowner was asked to sign the data collection form to verify that the inspection took place. If a homeowner was not home during the initial visit, or the data collector visited at an inconvenient time, a letter was mailed to the property owner asking them to call and set up an appointment for an inspection.
Listers also took photographs of the exterior of each property as they visit them. These photos were added to the Assessor’s database and are printed on the property record card. No interior photos are collected.
A variety of resources are used to analyze the real estate market. While the physical data was being collected by Vision Listers, appraisal personnel analyzed sales in 2017 and 2018 to determine which market factors influenced property values. Once all the data was collected and reviewed for accuracy, the appraiser will determine land values and set neighborhood site indexes that indicate the market desirability of various Bath neighborhoods.
Valuation is done using one or more of the three recognized methods, Replacement Cost, the Income Approach and the Sales Comparison or Market Value approach. Market Value is the most widely used approach, particularly for residential properties. Replacement cost estimates are developed for each property. The Income Approach to valuation is particularly appropriate for commercial buildings.
During this phase, individual characteristics of buildings were analyzed using information gathered in phases 1 and 2. Each property was compared to other comparable properties with similar characteristics. Then the market value of the improvements were added to the land value that was previously determined. This value is the final estimate for each parcel of property, building and land.
Field Review is the method of checking and re-checking both the values that have been determined and the data that has been collected. During this review, properties were viewed in the field by experienced appraisers and the City’s Assessor, who double check uniformity and accuracy of information.
Once the Field Review is completed, a Notice of New Values was mailed to each property owner. Those with questions concerning the revaluation process or about the data collected on their property had an opportunity to meet with a member of Vision's staff to discuss their property value and correct any errors found in the data collection or property valuation process. Over 300 hearing swere held, and approximately 1/2 of these hearings resulted in valuation adjusted
Once the informal hearings were completed, the City Assessor committed the new values and tax bills were sent out in September of 2019 that reflect the 2019 property valuations.
Whether the revaluation affected your property’s valuation or tax bill depended on how accurate our previous assessment was for your property. Some taxpayers saw decrease in their tax bill, while others saw an increase. Many property owners found their tax bill remained about the same. Because Bath’s assessments are already, on average, 100% of market value, the City’s revaluation is unlikely to change the overall City valuation substantially.
The best way to ensure that your property is correctly valued, and that Bath’s tax burden is fairly distributed, is to ensure our information on your property is as accurate as possible. Please contact the Assessor’s Office if you have any questions or concerns about your property's valuation.
Thank you very much for your help!
For more information on revaluation, and answers to common questions about the process, you may want to check out the following brochures:
Revaluations: Understanding the Process and the Myths (MRS)
The links below are to a summary report prepared by Vision Government Solutions that covers all of the data and protocols used during the revaluation. Since the document is quite large, we have broken it into several sections to make it easier to download. These files are in PDF format, and require a PDF reader to open.
Revaluation Report Bath ME FY2019.pdf
Section D Sales Ratio Studies.pdf
Section G Commercial-Industrial methodology.pdf
For details on the revaluations results for residential properties in Bath, please contact the assessor's office.