Falmouth’s plan to outsource Town assessing functions to the newly minted Cumberland County assessing group has unfortunately not received much attention, but raises serious questions and concerns.
First, why would you hand over and lose control of the No. 1 revenue-generating mechanism for the town to a third party? The purpose of assessing is to keep your tax rate as equitable as possible. If you have to pay taxes it should be fair; you shouldn’t be over assessed or under assessed. The plan under consideration to contract with the county is seriously under-staffed, they propose to complete all assessing functions for four local towns with only 2.5 personnel (current staff level for Falmouth alone is 2.5).
Published guidelines from the International Association of Assessing Officials advise 2,500 to 3,000 parcels per assessing professional; this equates to between five and six personnel would be needed for the four-town model.
In addition to the lack of manpower, the plan will violate the Falmouth Town Charter. This item is on the March 24 Town Council agenda. I urge you to attend the meeting and speak if you can; if not, please send an email or call the council.