County, Presque Isle join to offer regional assessing

CARIBOU and PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The County of Aroostook has recently received a grant in the amount of $334,000 from the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development with which to establish regional assessing services for Aroostook County municipalities.

“The County is pleased with this new partnership and opportunity for the communities we serve,” said County Administrator Ryan D. Pelletier. “Looking at ways to cooperate regionally, we believe, is the right focus for The County and will benefit our residents and taxpayers long-term.”

During the three-year grant term, the County will act as fiscal agent with the City of Presque Isle acting as the service provider.  

In some cases here in The County, communities have their selectmen serve as the municipal assessors.  One tax assessor who serves 35 communities plans to retire within the next year and municipalities have expressed concern about finding qualified assessors.  The lack of certified assessors in the region makes this partnership a logical next step.  

Presque Isle City Manager Martin Puckett said, “This partnership is another opportunity to provide services at a regional level.  With the towns and county working together, we can form a long-term solution to the shortage of certified assessors.”

Assessing services are specific services. The level of service can be to deed processing only, sales analysis and market adjustments, quarterly inspections, or full re-valuations.   Under the terms of the agreement, there will be a cap on the value of services that can be provided to any one community.  

Lewis Cousins, Presque Isle tax assessor, said, “The Presque Isle Assessing Office is excited and pleased to be part of this initiative in collaborating with various municipalities where common needs can be addressed by a singular regional administrative function. Assessing is a prime opportunity for these efforts to realize efficiency and cost savings.”

Cousins, who was recently named Assessor of the Year by his peers, said, “Leadership of each participating municipality will determine the level of service appropriate for their individual needs and available resources. Existing town/city assessing and mapping records can be utilized and maintained.  We are ready to move forward with service delivery.”

Municipalities interested in requesting services may contact Puckettat 207-760-2785 or the Presque Isle Assessing Office at 207-760-2714.

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