Fenwick undertakes revaluation for property taxes


The Fenwick Island Town Council unanimously approved a request for proposals (RFP) regarding property reassessment. 

“Our property taxes are about 34 percent of all of our revenue, which is $728,267,” said Town Manager Terry Tieman. 

The number of tax parcels is 818, of which 794 are improved and 24 are unimproved. Approximately 46 properties are designated as commercial parcels.

“The last property revaluation was completed in 1976, that was about 42 years ago,” said Tieman. “The current tax rate is $1.92 for $100 of assessed value. The last tax increase occurred 13 years ago in 2005. The assessed value equals half of the appraised value.

“The purpose of a reassessment is to fairly distribute the tax burden among all property owners based on current value of their property. Real estate is appraised so that all property owners fairly share the cost of town services such as police protection, street maintenance, plowing of snow, cleanup and maintenance of Town parks, and many other services.”

Tieman said taxes are calculated by dividing the assessed value by $100, multiplied by the tax rate. Currently, for residential properties, the lowest assessment is $1,453, the highest is $216,112, with an average of $44,549. For residential tax billing, the lowest is $28, the highest is $4,149, with an average of $855. 

“I think that’s a really telling slide,” said Mayor Gene Langan. 

Tieman said once council approved the RFP, proposals from appraisal firms will be accepted through Nov. 30. 

“Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of qualifications of the proposer, technical proposal content, quality of service, and price. The selected firm will be approved by council and a proposed schedule for reevaluation will be developed,” said Tieman. “Some people’s bills are going to go up, some people‘s bills are going to go down. People will be taxed more fairly because an assessment dating back to 1976 cannot be a fair assessment.”

The Fenwick Island Town Council approved the RFP unanimously, 7-0.

 

By Maria Counts

Staff Reporter