Warren votes to change fiscal yearExpect two bills instead of one
Warren — At a special town meeting June 24, Warren voters approved changing their fiscal year to July through June.
A total of 21 residents turned out to declare their preference of when their taxes should be paid. Currently Warren taxpayers are billed once a year, making their full-year payment in November. The fiscal year previously ran from January through December
The new fiscal year will have the tax burden divided into two payments, one in May and one in November. However, the switch necessitates a single six-month fiscal year from Jan. 1, 2015 to June 30, 2015 — with a bill for half-year taxes being due May 15, 2015 to offset the schedule.
"I think the two smaller bills is a big plus for the taxpayers," said Town Manager Elaine Clark June 25. "Especially since they now pay one large one just before the holidays," she added.
Clark explained the change will be much better for the town as well financially, as it will lessen the need to borrow monies on Tax Anticipated Note Loans by increasing cash flow throughout the year.
"We usually spend four months of living on borrowed money in the range of $1.6 million," said Clark, who added if the outstanding taxes of $320,000 were paid that would help as well.
The fiscal year switch will also help with the budget process as the figures for Regional School Unit 40 contributions as well as the anticipated revenue sharing and local road assistance program funds will be known instead of using an estimate.
Clark said the TAN loans have been doable in the past as the interest rates have been low.
"However, if the rates raise it would be a huge risk we want to avoid," said Clark.
Residents approved the creation of the six-month fiscal year extending from Jan. 1, 2015 to June 30, 2015 by a vote of 15 to 6, and approved the ongoing change in the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015 and extending through June 30, 2016 with taxes due in November and May by a vote of 15 to 2.
Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at email@example.com.
594-4401 ext. 125
Beth rejoined Courier Publications' news staff in February 2013. She previously worked at The Courier-Gazette from 1981 to 1990.
Her coverage area includes Warren, Union, Friendship, Waldoboro, Washington, and Thomaston and RSU40.
Beth has a passion for photography, and a degree from the University of Maine at Augusta, in affiliation with the Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport.
Aside from photography, Beth enjoys running and walks along the waterfront, as well as other outdoor activities. She has a daughter, Claire, who is 13.