The investigation of property tax assessing as a regional service has been a collaborative project between Cumberland County, GPCOG and the municipalities of Cumberland County since 2006. The initial idea was an outgrowth of Cumberland County’s 2001 and 2006 strategic plans, and received a grant from the state’s Fund for Regional Efficiency in 2006.
The first phase of the project was chaired by Standish town manager Gordy Billington, and currently is chaired by Bridgton town manager Mitch Berkowitz. The project has been staffed by Cumberland County, with a consultant chosen by an advisory group that included municipal staff. An advisory group of assessors was convened multiple times during the writing of the consultant’s first report, and once to review a draft of the second report. A smaller, “Project Team” made up of town managers, county staff, and Neal Allen from COG has met regularly throughout to guide the process.
The project is currently still in the investigation stage. Staff and muncipal officials from a number of towns are working together with the county to create a proposal that is detailed enough for elected leadership of towns to decide whether they would want to be founding members and enter a formal Design Team stage. An update will be made to GPCOG and muncipalities in the spring of 2009. Any proposal would have to be voted on by municipalities and Cumberland County Commissioners before they could be implemented.
Notes from the 6/28/08 Municipal Manager’s Meeting
This was the meeting of the Managers on this topic to discuss the recent report and ask questions.
2008 Draft Proposal for a Regional Property Assessing Consortium
This is a compilation of the various options open to municipalities in considering the possibility of a region-wide property tax assessing service.
2007 Report to Cumberland County, Maine on the Shared Assessing Feasibility Study
This report includes an analysis of the current costs of tax assessing incurred by municipalities and compares it to the cost of running a department for a similar sized county in Erie, Pennsylvania.
For more information, contact Elizabeth Trice via email or by phone at 207-871-8380.