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Property values are falling but tax asssessment are up!

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Fellow taxpayers:

Shortly after Christmas I received an unpleasant Christmas present: my fiscal 2008 tax bill.

My property value had gone up by $26,400. With the bill in hand, I proceeded to the Town Hall to speak with Mrs. Swezey who, as I understand it, has reappraised the whole town on her own. I was told by her that the values had gone up.

Now, I don’t know what planet Mrs. Swezey has been on, but real estate values have fallen; plus my septic system — a $23,000 item — has still not been replaced. She has stated in the past, “septic items are not a denumeration item.”

I don’t know if anyone has tried to sell a property that does not meet Title V specs but it’s next to impossible. I think this woman should be retrained in real estate appraisal, or better yet, be recalled for her eight-year bump-up on a yearly basis of my property value.

In my opinion, this is harassment and abuse of her authority.

The appellate tax board ruled on Oct. 9 the property has a fair market value of $227,000. For her to overrule the tax board is folly. I have written the Board of Selectmen for help; thus far silence.

Anyone interested in signing my recall petition can call me at (978) 448-9894.

Don’t forget, if your property is overvalued, you only have until Feb. 1, 2008 to file an abatement. If you are denied by the assessors, you may file an appeal with the appellate tax board in Boston. Call (617) 727-3100 for an application. You must file within three months of the assessor’s denial.

R.S. STEPHENS

Groton

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