MILLINOCKET, Maine – Property taxes will rise eight-tenths of a mill to 26.4 mills under a new tax rate town leaders have approved, officials said Wednesday.
The Town Council accepted Tax Assessor Michael Noble’s new property tax rate and voted 7-0 to set property tax due dates of Nov. 21, 2012, and April 20, 2013, according to the meeting minutes. Council Chairman John Davis did not immediately return a message seeking comment on Wednesday.
Interim Town Manager Charles Pray and Councilor Michael Madore echoed on Wednesday Noble’s report, which said the town continues to lose value every year and the loss is not being offset by much economic growth.
“We have been lucky for the last five years to hold the line on taxes as much as we have. It is a slight increase,” Madore said Wednesday. “I hope it doesn’t hurt anybody too bad, but I think it was inevitable.”
“The cost of everything else is going up. Our costs to operate the town government are going up. It is only common sense that you will see an increase,” Madore added.
The town has seen some economic growth to offset property losses in value. Tractor Supply Co. opened a store at the shopping plaza off Route 11 in early September, and that will impact the town’s value more significantly next year.
A Cate Street Capital subsidiary has begun site preparation work for a $48 million torrefied wood facility, the first in New England, with plans to finish construction by fall. A biomass boiler is also being installed at Millinocket Regional Hospital, Madore said.
But much of the town’s tax future will be determined, Madore said, by the election of town officials on Nov. 6, the selection of a new town manager early next year, “and what we have for a plan” to meet future tax needs.