Across the City, the 2023 valuation updates increased real property values by an average of 21.4%. Residential properties increased in value by 27.9%, and commercial properties increased in value an average of 18.2%. Overall, the average increase in taxes for residential property was 7.5%. The tax rate was reduced from $20.40 per $1,000 of valuation to $16.90 per $1,000 of valuation, a 17.7% reduction.
These statistics illustrate how changes in the real estate market tend to shift a greater percentage of the burden of property taxes to residential property owners. This shift is caused when residential property increases in value faster than commercial or industrial properties. Overall, residential property is now 54.7% of Bath's taxable real estate valuation, an increase of 3.2% over the 2022 tax year.
Unfortunately, maintaining our old valuations is not an option. Assessors must adjust all exemptions to the assessment level as state reimbursement for exemptions is reduced by the assessment ratio. Thus, not updating our valuations does not protect Bath residents from property tax increases. Under State law, valuations must be updated when assessment ratios fall below 70%, and without an update, our state valuation would have been below 70% in 2024 (M.R.S. Title 36 § 327). By acting proactively to maintain our state valuation at 100%, Bath maximizes state reimbursements and forestalls the need to invest in another full revaluation, a far more expensive investment than an annual valuation update.
At the end of this section, there are reports of the 2023 and 2022 valuation and tax amounts for each taxable Bath property, along with maps in PDF format that show the percentage change in valuation for Bath properties. The maps are large scale so that detail can be seen, and are not a standard size. Once you click on the file below, it will likely open in your web browser. You can now view the entire file and zoom in or out as you wish.
At the bottom of this page, there is file browser that allows review of the percentage of valuation change in 2023 by tax map. There is an index map as well, if you need assistance identifying the tax map you are interested in reviewing. The tax maps are in PDF format. Most web browsers automatically open PDFs, but you may need a free PDF reader software.
|2022 and 2023 Real Estate Valuations and Tax Amounts (.xlsx)
|2022 and 2023 Real Estate valuations and Tax Amounts (.pdf)
|Central Bath and North End 2023 Valuation (% change) (.PDF)
|North Bath 2023 Valuation (% change) (.PDF)
|South End 2023 Valuation (% change) (.PDF)
Although the Maine Property Tax Stabilization program will not continue after 2023, it did affect the 675 Bath residents who were enrolled in the program. The following reports show how each person enrolled in the program was affected by the valuation update. Seventy eight of the Property Tax Stabilization program enrollees (11.6%) found that their 2023 tax bill was lower than their 2022 stabilized tax amount. The balance of those enrolled in the program will have the difference between their 2022 and 2023 tax bills paid by the State of Maine, a total of $227,049.28. The amounts to be reimbursed by the State of Maine under the program range from $1.12 to $10,847.90. You can see the details in the reports below.
|2023 Property Tax Stabilization Report (.xlsx)
|2023 Property Tax Stabilization Report (.pdf)
Each year, the valuation for Bath Iron Works is updated to reflect improvements, acquisitions and disposals of real property and business equipment. A significant portion of Bath Iron Works' valuation consists of business equipment that is exempt from local property taxes under Maine's Business Equipment Tax Exemption (BETE, pronounced Bet-E) program. The State of Maine reimburses the City of Bath for a portion of the lost tax revenue from this equipment. A summary of the tax revenue and state reimbursement received under the BETE program for BIW's real property and equipment can be found in the report below.
Under the BETE program, the State of Maine reimburses the City of Bath for the taxes that would otherwise be owed on approximately 60.9% of the total valuation of tax-exempt business equipment. The reimbursement in 2023 is $2.16 million. The balance of the value removed from Bath's tax base in 2023 through this exemption, $82,126.788, is not reimbursed. Bath property owners paid an additional $1.39 million in taxes in 2023 due to the limited reimbursement, or $78 for every $100,000 of a property's assessed value.
For more details on how the valuation updates were completed, please see our Valuation Update methodology pages (coming soon).