2017-04-06 / Letters

Taxes set to rise in Saco

To the editor:

“When completed, the budget must provide the services we have promised to our constituents.”

– Jane D. Hull

Saco City Administrator Kevin Sutherland on March 20 presented budget information and the process for the current budget cycle for the city and school department. Based on budgets presented, the mil rate for fiscal year 2018 is projected to be $20.62 per $1,000 of assessed value. This is an increase of $1.20 or 6.2 percent over the fiscal year 2017 mil rate. The presentation materials link can be found here: http://www.sacomaine.org/Budget%20 Presentation%20Final%203.21.17.pdf.

For homes valued at $213,000, yearly taxes are $4,392; that would mean an increase of $256 from the prior year. For homes valued at $350,000, that would be a $420 increase; yearly taxes are $7,217. For a home valued at $500,000, that would be a $600 increase, making yearly taxes $10,310. Home values are not adjusted by the exemptions for the Homestead Act, veteran’s program, etc. to determine the yearly taxes above.

Remember, the mil rate above is on the proposed city and school budgets the council was presented. Currently the council is meeting to hear individually from each of the city and the school departments. You can view the presentations presented on “Live Stream” or a recorded video of the meeting/workshop. This service is available on the city council webpage.

On April 18 a public hearing on the city budget is scheduled. The public will have an opportunity to comment on the proposed budgets at this time. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m., Saco City Hall, 300 Main St., in the auditorium.

Saco Citizens for Sensible Government strongly encourages all Saco residents to attend. Be prepared to ask questions regarding where your tax dollars are spent. If you are unable to attend, reach out to your councilor by telephone or email. Let them know you do not want to see an increase in your property taxes.

City budget and supporting documentation from the city departments is located at http://www.sacomaine.org/ FY2018%20Municipal%20Budget%20Book%203.20.17. pdf or a copy is available for viewing at city hall in the city administrator’s or city clerk’s office.

The school department’s proposed budget is located at http://sacoschools.org/departments/finance/ budget_ 2016-17/department_ budgets or at the school department’s administrative office.

Please contact Saco Citizens for Sensible Government at sacocitizenssensiblegovernment@gmail.com with questions, comments or additional information.

John Harkins, chairman Saco Citizens for Sensible Government

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