A nearly $148,500 rise in costs to educate Hope students has led the way to increased taxes.

The Board of Selectmen set the tax rate at $14.80 per $1,000 of assessed property at its July 25 meeting. The rate is up from $13.60. This means a person owning a home valued at $150,000 would see a $180 increase, for a total tax bill of $2,220.

Of the $2,992,944 to be raised, 83 percent, or $2.43 million, will go to Hope Elementary School and the Five Town Community School District, which oversees operations of Camden Hills Regional High School. School costs accounted for 81 percent of expenditures in the 2017 budget.

In addition, town costs also are up about $75,000, for a total of $853,573, or 11 percent of the total raised, and the assessment for Knox County is up about $8,600, for a total of $238,466, or 8 percent of the total amount raised

Hope's total property valuation has increased by $313,350, for a total of approximately $202.2 million.

This current Board of Selectmen has chosen not to send out bills for or collect personal property tax, according to Town Administrator Samantha Mank. Maine law calls for towns to assess personal property tax, but a nuisance law gives the board the ability to declare the tax uncollectable, she said. Earlier this year, the board voted unanimously to remove all of the past and through fiscal year 2017 personal property taxes from the town's books for a total of about $17,000. It is planning to use the same law to not bill or collect personal property tax for 2018 once it has been assessed.

Recognizing that the increase may be difficult for some taxpayers, Mank said the tax bill will refer residents to the town's website, which outlines a number of different property tax relief programs. She encourages property owners to see if they qualify for any of the programs.

Taxes are due Oct. 3 and May 1, 2018, and a 7 percent interest rate will be assessed after the second date for any unpaid taxes.

Courier Publications Editor Kim Lincoln can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at klincoln@villagesoup.com.