City taxes: we’re all in it together

6 years ago

In mid to late July, Presque Isle property owners can expect to receive the 2018 tax bill. This bill represents each property owner’s share of the cost of operating the following for one year: the city; Presque Isle’s portion of SAD 1, currently 71.76 percent; and Presque Isle’s portion of Aroostook County government, currently 10.814 percent.

The City Council, school directors and County Commissioners have all completed their individual budget processes, and their totals to be raised through Presque Isle taxes are: city, $7,206,781; SAD 1, $6,327,664; and county, $730,680. These numbers will be divided by the total of all taxable property in the city to establish the mill rate.

The formula looks like this: net amount to be raised / taxable value = mill rate.

The taxable value is the portion of this formula for which the assessing office is responsible. Our work in this regard is based on the Maine Constitution, Article IX, Section 8, which states: “Taxation. All taxes upon real and personal estate, assessed by authority of this State, shall be apportioned and assessed equally according to the just value thereof.”

The Assessing Department strives to achieve this goal by listing each property and establishing the just value (market value) in accordance with accepted assessing practices. These practices may be a visit to the property, information garnered through discussions, or requests based on MRSA) 36/subsection 706, realtor listings, building permits, or other reliable sources of information.

Regardless of the source, the goal of the assessing office is to place a value on each property that results in a fair tax to each property owner. Market value is determined by a study of current sales of properties within the City.

The Assessing Department is committed to ensuring that all taxpaying residents are aware of and receiving any tax relief available through the Homestead and Veterans exemptions, and that all business are aware of and receiving any tax relief available through the BETR and BETE programs.

As always, we encourage all taxpayers to contact the department with any questions or concerns you may have regarding the assessment of property here in the city, and also visit our webpage and GIS system to view any property or assessment record in the city:   

Wishing everyone a fantastic summer, and by all means, go enjoy that beautiful new splash pad.

Lewis Cousins is Presque Isle’s assessor. He can be reached at 760-2714 or via email at