MACHIAS, Maine — Washington County’s Board of Commissioners has approved a 2013 budget of $5.8 million, which represents a 1 percent increase over the 2012 budget.
When combined with a loss of nearly $300,000 in revenues, however, the budget represents a 7.4 percent tax increase over last year, according to County Manager Betsy Fitzgerald.
While thanking the county’s budget advisory committee for its work, Board Chairman Chris Gardner termed the budget increase “very, very unfortunate.”
“This is not a number we are proud of,” Gardner said. “Now it’s up to us to start cost-saving measures as of day one of the new budget year. This is not an increase that we like, and we’ll go to work on day one to find savings.”
The commissioners gave final approval to the budget of $5,792,431 during the board’s monthly meeting on Dec. 13 at the commission office.
On the plus side, the 2013 annual budget of $1.2 million for Washington County’s Unorganized Territory was down 2.8 percent from the 2012 budget.
“I’m sorry that the good news from the UT budget cannot be passed on the county budget,” Gardner said.