HOW TO GET up to a 90% TAX REDUCTION in your property taxes!


The Lake Auburn Watershed Neighborhood Association (LAWNA) met with Cheryl Dubois, City Tax Assessor,  to determine how vacant lands are taxed under the current City and State guidelines.  For the most part you are being taxed “highest and best use” by law, until you indicate otherwise and preferably before April 1, 2009!

Here’s how it works:  If you have vacant property you may be eligible for a considerable amount of decreased valuation and a subsequent lower tax (land) schedule.

If you are one of the 113 properties identified by the City of Auburn as property that could potentially be developed, BUT CAN NOT BECAUSE OF A SEPTIC ORDINANCE, you most likely qualify or have already qualified.

First, go to this website  and find your property by parcel ID or owner.  Compare your land area and value with the following values below to see how your property is currently taxed. 

1 ac. $4,400;2 $5400;3 6400;4 7200;5 8000;6 8800;7 9600;8 10,400;9 11200;10 12,000;12 13600;13 14400; 

14 ac. $15,200;15 16000;17 17600;18 18400;20 20000;22 21600;24 23200;27 25600;29 27,200;32 29600;             

36 ac. $32,800;39 35200;43 38400;47 41600;52 45600;57 49600;63 54000;69 59,200;75 64000;83 70400;         

91 ac. $76,800 and 100 ac. is $84,000.

You can also take these values, multiply by .01928 and that should be your yearly tax for 2008.  If you are paying more than this or your values are higher, than you are probably being taxed at your properties “highest and best use.”

The City of Auburn has a controversial watershed septic ordinance that virtually prohibits all new homes from being built, regardless if the State says it will not pollute Lake Auburn.  If you show the assessor’s office in writing, from a licensed soil evaluator, that your soils do not qualify your land as a buildable lot, then your taxes will be adjusted accordingly!  Here is an example:

Property ID# 341-035   A  4 ac. Lot on North Auburn Road
Present valuation $68,400,   $1,318 in taxes, after re-assessment $7,200  or  $138 in taxes 90% reduction in taxes when provided by a letter confirming inadequate soils.

How do you get a letter?  First, you can email the association at   We will ask you some basic questions about your land to determine the likelihood of a substantial tax reduction.  Generally speaking, if your land is not located in an area of gravelly soils then there is a 99% chance your land will not “perc” per current rules.  If your land falls short of the ordinance than by law you cannot be taxed at “highest and best use.” A licensed soil evaluator like those at Summit Environmental, Inc  (207-795-6009) can do a site visit and prepare a letter at a cost starting around $200.00 for smaller to average lots and scaling up from there depending on the topographical features and ease of access.  To help property owners, this Lake Association (LAWNA) can also provide a backhoe FREE of charge if within three miles of the office at 185 North Auburn Road.  A small transportation fee for sites further away.  A backhoe is not required, but may lower the cost by making it easier for the site evaluator as he digs into the soil for evaluation. (I.E. winter or spring FROST)

April 1st, 2008 is the next deadline for taxes determined for the 2008 year!  Do NOT hesitate if you feel you qualify!



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