ORONO, Maine — The town council is expected to finalize the municipal budget Monday night, which when combined with the increased school and county budgets is projected to drive up the property tax rate by approximately 75 cents.
The draft fiscal year 2014-15 municipal budget is $7,438,316; the RSU 26 budget is $5,814,357; the Penobscot County budget is $494,893; and the Water Pollution Control Facility budget is $1,947,046, which is $1,621,546 for operation costs and $325,500 for capital improvements.
The net municipal budget is up $99,017 over last year, Town Manager Sophie Wilson has said.
“This, combined with increases of $17,551 in county tax and $100,277 in the school assessment, results in a total increase in the taxes to be raised from the local property tax of $216,845,” she said.
Based on those figures, residents are being asked to raise $3,765,800 and the tax rate is expected to rise by around 75 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, according to the council agenda and Wilson.
The proposed downtown village center tax assessment for July 1, 2014 to June 31, 2015 is on the council agenda, at a cost of 50 cents per $1,000 in property values, with due dates set for Sept. 19, 2014 and Feb. 6, 2015.
A public hearing about increasing a number of town fees, including the cost of swimming at the town pool located by the Orono Middle School, parking tickets and criminal background checks, among others, is also scheduled.
If approved, daily passes to go swimming would increase to $3 for everyone, with individual summer passes increasing from $35 to $50 and family passes going up from $60 to $110; criminal background checks would increase from $5 to $15; and parking violations would all increase to $30, with the exception of handicap parking violations that would remain at $100.
The special town council meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the town office and the public hearing on increasing the municipal fees is the first item on the council agenda.