BROWNVILLE, Maine — The 2010 property tax commitment signed by Brownville selectmen Wednesday night included an 80-cent tax increase per $1,000 property valuation.
In a 3-1 vote, the board adopted a tax rate of $17.10. As such, taxes on property valued at $100,000 would increase by $80. The 2009 tax rate was $16.30 per $1,000 property valuation.
As a result of the vote, the town will have an overlay of $25,000, funds that will help offset any tax abatements the town may have in the wake of the 2009 revaluation.
“We’re seeing a dramatic increase in the number of inspections that are being requested,” Town Manager Sophia Wilson said Wednesday.
“We are wondering if people may have been shell-shocked after they got their tax bill last year and just paid it, and now are ready to come forward and ask for us to actually look at their homes.”
Board Chairman Dennis Green suggested that might be the case since some property owners were not at home when the site visits were made, while other residents were not willing to allow assessors into their homes.
There was some discussion about reducing the overlay to $20,000, which would have lowered the tax rate by 10 cents, a move Selectman Paula Copeland had recommended.
In the end however, all but Copeland agreed to the higher overlay. If unused, these funds could be used to help offset next year’s tax commitment, Wilson said.
Wilson also noted that the town office had received several calls from residents who expressed concerns over their water bills after new rates took effect. She said residents are reminded that they can pay the bills in installments.