ST. AGATHA&nbsp- The town faced a number of the same fiscal challenges confronting other towns in Aroostook County and around the state this year&nbsp- the skyrocketing cost of heating oil and energy and an increase in the cost of education.

But Town Manager Ryan Pelletier said recently that other factors have worked to balance out the greater municipal expenditures. The Board of Selectmen was able once again to hold the tax rate at $18.50 per $1,000 of valuation.

The selectmen met last week to discuss the property tax mill rate for 2008. On one hand, the town saw a 5.49 percent increase in the local cost for education, but Pelletier said that increased property values from new construction within the community helped to grow the town’ s tax base by 2.45 percent over last year.

In concert with that, the town’ s share of the Aroostook County tax decreased by 1.79 percent compared to 2007. Pelletier said that he also expects St. Agatha’ s allotment of municipal revenue sharing to be slightly higher than last year, which he believed would help soften the burden on local property taxpayers.

Pelletier noted that selectmen worked hard to keep the mill rate stable at a time when the cost of everything else seems to be on the rise.

Pelletier said that he expects that tax bills will be in the mail this week.