Union sees double-digit tax increase

By Beth A. Birmingham | Sep 06, 2018
Source: File Photo

Union — The Union Board of Selectmen set the tax rate at its Sept. 4 meeting -- the largest mil rate increase in years, according to Town Manager Jay Feyler.

"Although our 17.8 is within the ballpark of other municipalities of similar size and value, our citizens can’t continue to support these double-digit increases," Feyler said in an email Sept. 5.

Feyler went on to say that he has grave concerns for the town's elderly and low-income residents and their ability to pay their property taxes and other expenses.

"The state of Maine needs to do its legal obligations and fund education at 55 percent, restore revenue-sharing and stop sending unfunded mandates back to the taxpayers.," Feyler said.

The town's revenue-sharing should be around $300,000, according to Feyler. Instead it is $96,000.

"Citizens need to be careful what they are voting for on citizen referendums, as they all are adding to the property tax burdens," he said, noting that locally voters approved $25 million for a new vocational school and statewide voters approved a minimum-wage increase of $1 an hour for the next three years.

According to the town's newsletter, the following items significantly affected the tax rate: an 11.57 percent, or $253,989, increase from Regional School Unit 40; a 9.5 percent, or $20,685, increase from Knox County; a 9.1 percent ,or $5,539, increase from Knox County Dispatch; and a 15.53 percent, or $8,065, increase from Tri-County Solid Waste.

"If you have concerns about the town budget, please contact me or any of the Board of Selectmen," Feyler says in the newsletter.

Last year's mil rate was 15.8.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at bbirmingham@villagesoup.com.

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