DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — The town’s budget advisory committee will begin its review of the proposed 2011 municipal spending plan of $3,632,925 next week.
The municipal spending plan is expected to be offset by $1,758,820 in revenues that would result in $1,874,105 having to be raised from property taxes. The latter amount is below the 2009-10 LD 1 tax cap by $5,800.
“Without a broadening of the property tax base and without additional nonproperty tax revenues becoming available to offset local property taxes, it will be challenging to sustain current levels of service over the coming years,” Town Manager Jack Clukey advised selectmen Monday.
While the county tax is a known amount, SAD 68 has yet to adopt an education budget. The school district is facing a significant subsidy loss of about $757,000 along with a $192,000 penalty for not having found another district with which to consolidate.
Based on the known county tax, the proposed municipal budget and last year’s education assessment, the tax rate would increase from $13.66 to $14.42 per $1,000 property valuation, according to Clukey. He noted, however, that the tax rate could vary significantly once the actual school budget has been adopted.
“The expenditure side of things is very, very similar to last year in terms of expenditures,” Clukey said of the proposed budget. No wage or cost-of-living increases are proposed.
Selectmen were told that the proposed budget:
ä Defers a number of capital expenses which could mean the town would have to borrow in the future for equipment replacements.
ä Has basically frozen all appropriations for capital spending at fiscal year 2010 levels.
ä Reflects a decrease in the protection budget, which will result in fewer part-time shifts being filled.
ä Includes a new fee schedule at the transfer station that would help offset the anticipated state revenue sharing loss of about $148,000 and a loss of about $70,000 from excise taxes.
The wastewater budget, which is assessed to those on the wastewater system and is not funded through the tax commitment, includes proposed rate increases, according to Clukey. Because of a decline in water consumption, the rates are projected to increase from $4.09 to $4.42 per 100 cubic feet for operations and maintenance and from $134.09 to $145.86 per 5,000 cubic foot block for capital and debt. As less water is consumed a higher rate is required in order to fund a flat or slightly reduced budget, Clukey said.