May 26, 2018
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Lincoln staves off need to seek $500K loan, treasurer says

By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff

LINCOLN, Maine – Town leaders probably will not need to apply for a $500,000 tax anticipation note to cover the late billing of property tax bills and the school system’s late budget effort, officials said Wednesday.

“We might have to do it in March, but I don’t think so,” Treasurer Gilberte Mayo said.

The Town Council voted 6-0 on Nov. 5 to allow Mayo to seek the short-term loan from Machias Savings Bank for as much as $500,000 within 60 days of that date. The loan would carry a 0.99 percent interest rate. Councilor David Whalen was absent.

Councilors feared that the discovery of $1.2 million in errors in the town’s 2012-13 budget, and the late mailing of property tax bills fixing the errors caused, would create a cash shortfall that the loan would be needed to offset.

More recently, the failure of RSU 67’s budget to pass despite four referendums also created fears of a shortfall.

But tax bills for the first half of the fiscal year, which began July 1, went out in November, and taxpayer responses have been strong. The next property tax due date is May 15, so there is a chance that shortfalls could occur in March or April, Mayo said, but she doubted that would happen.

“It is not going to be as tight then as this particular situation was,” Mayo said.

The town had about $278,000 in cash, which is usually enough to pay four weeks of expenses, in mid-November. As of Wednesday, the town had $2.5 million in cash, Mayo said.

The latest school budget vote is scheduled for Jan. 10.

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