THOMASTON, Maine — Property owners will be paying less in local taxes and a town official said it is because of the hard work of the town to encourage economic development.
The town set the tax rate Friday at $16.74, down slightly from the $16.80 rate last year. People with a home valued at $150,000 will see their tax bill drop by $9.
Assessor’s Agent Dave Martucci said that while the decrease is slight, it is nevertheless notable since the town, like others in Maine, has seen state revenue sharing drop significantly. Revenue sharing for Thomaston has dropped from $480,000 a few years ago to a projected $155,000 this year.
The town has been able to deal with the decline in state aid, however, by generating new local taxes through economic development.
The Wal-Mart Supercenter has been constructed off Route 1 in Thomaston, a few hundred yards from the Rockland line. That retail complex is scheduled to open next week. The town has gained $7.4 million in new valuation from the Wal-Mart project, Martucci said. Next year, the town will be able to include the entire project in its valuations which he expects will generate another $10 million.
“Municipal officials have been working for 15 years on economic development in this part of town. Those efforts are finally paying off,” Martucci said.
The town expects to pick up more value next year from the under construction Tractor Supply Co. store, he said. In addition, there are three sites adjacent to Wal-Mart that are available for development and could attract more businesses, he said.
Tax bills are expected to be mailed at the end of next week.The first of two payments for taxes is due Dec. 4 and the second payment June 4.