copyright the Chronicle January 8, 2014
by Joseph Gresser
NEWPORT — The $2.85-million sale of the Spates Block will change the face of downtown Newport. It will also require the city to revalue all property on its Grand List.
According to a memo from City Assessor Spencer Potter, the sale, along with the $1.1-million sale of the properties on which the new Maplefields gas station is to be built, will bring a call from the state for mandatory reappraisal.
City Manager John Ward urged the aldermen to act quickly on the matter at the city council’s meeting Monday night. They heeded his advice and unanimously agreed to proceed with a full reappraisal of Newport.
Mr. Ward said it is quite possible that new sales will drop the city’s Common Level of Appraisal (CLA) enough that the state will raise education tax rates to compensate. The CLA is a measure the state uses to ensure fairness in the statewide tax by making sure appraisals in all towns generally match the results of actual sales.