Thursday, December 12, 2013
By Craig Crosby email@example.com
WAYNE — Voters at a special town meeting Tuesday will be asked to adopt a new ordinance regarding tax-acquired property, said Town Manager Aaron Chrostowsky. Selectmen also will ask voters to use $20,000 from the town's surplus to reduce property taxes.
The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Ladd Recreation Center at 26 Gott Road.
Selectmen held a pair of public hearings on the proposals in July.
Chrostowsky said the $20,000, which would come from the town's undesignated fund balance, would offset reduced funding from the state. The town's budget is based on receiving $67,500 from the state but it will actually receive about $20,000 less, Chrostowsky said. He said the town's undesignated fund balance exceeds $970,000, which is well over the recommended 25 percent of the town's annual operating budget.
"The town has a healthy undesignated fund balance," Chrostowsky said.
The second question, regarding the tax acquired property ordinance, would correct a couple shortcomings in existing town law, Chrostowsky said.
The document currently is a policy rather than an ordinance, he said. The selectmen control the policy, but it fails to give final authority to voters at town meeting, whom Chrostowsky described as the legislative body.
"This new ordinance reflects the desire of the community to keep authority with the legislative body to make changes to the ordinance," Chrostowsky said.
The ordinance also would remove a prohibition against selling property at any time other than the first selectmen's meeting in June.
"This new language removes the June meeting date, which gives the board of selectmen greater flexibility in offering property for tax sale," Chrostowsky said. He said it serves the town's interest to sell the property prior to April 1 so it remains on the tax rolls.
The new ordinance also would give the town the right to wave foreclosure when the town treasurer determines the risk of owning the property outweighs the tax benefit, Chrostowsky said.
A copy of the town meeting warrant and the proposed ordinance are available at the town office. They are also on the town's website at www.WayneMaine.org.
Chrostowsky urged those with questions to call the Town Office at 685-4983.
Craig Crosby -- 621-5642