Monday, December 9, 2013
By Doug Harlow firstname.lastname@example.org
SKOWHEGAN — Residents took all of two minutes tonight to agree take $300,000 for the town's surplus accounts to cover losses projected from cuts in state revenue sharing.
Voters at the annual Town Meeting in June already had agreed to take $700,000 from surplus to offset taxes, bringing the total to be taken from surplus this year to $1 million.
The vote tonight by 14 residents and assembled town officials should leave the current tax rate where it is — about $16.20 for every $1,000 in property valuation.
The new tax rate is to be set sometime this month.
Going into the current fiscal year, the town had about $3 million in surplus.
In the only other article on the agenda for the special town meeting, voters authorized the Board of Selectmen to spend up to $14,000 from the sale of town owned property to buy a new mower for the Recreation Department.
The entire meeting, moderated by Skowhegan attorney Kenneth Lexier, lasted only six minutes.
Before tonight's meeting, Town Manager John Doucette Jr. said the town expects to receive $406,171 in municipal revenue sharing this year, down from $659,291 in fiscal 2013, which ended June 30.
It was either raise taxes, cut more services or tap the surplus account, Doucette said. Town services already are at the bare-bones margin, and an aging population in a town of about 9,000 can ill afford a tax increase, he said.
Doucette said he expects the town will lose more municipal revenue sharing next year.
Doug Harlow — 612-2367