EASTPORT, Maine — Faced with shrinking state revenues for both the city and its schools, Eastport officials this week approved a 2011 budget that will result in a tax rate increase of 8.1 percent.
Even though many cuts were taken in the budget process, City Manager Jon Southern said the budget means a rise from $20.07 per $1,000 in valuation to $21.69.
That is $1.62 per $1,000 in valuation. For a home valued at $100,000, the 2011 tax bill will increase by $162.
“The state has crippled us,” Southern said. Eastport has lost matching revenue from the state and $2,000 has been cut off the school district’s per-pupil tuition rate.
“There are very few communities that are not suffering,” Southern said, but added that Eastport residents are already seeing the evidence of the cuts.
“They can see it in public works, street and road repair, infrastructure repairs, older vehicles and plant machinery,” Southern said.
It will take about 12 days for the assessor to formally set the tax rate and for city office staff to generate the tax bills. Bills are due Oct. 30, he said.
The process is several weeks behind normal since it was delayed significantly due to school consolidation issues.
Meanwhile, until tax revenues start arriving, the city is operating on a $750,000 line of credit, at 2 percent for 30 days. “We’re about $30,000 into it. It could be much, much worse,” Southern said.
“We’ve operated for several years on a bare bones budget,” Southern said.