Property owners, renters stand to lose under proposal

JAY — If the governor's proposal to raise the eligibility age for the state “circuit breaker” program is approved, 169 Jay households would not get a combined $51,678, Town Manager Ruth Cushman said.

If Gov. Paul LePage’s budget proposal is approved, it would be for people 65 and older who meet the income guidelines, she said. That would mean 53 households would get a combined $19,874 through the Maine Residents Property Tax & Refund Program, also known as the circuit  breaker program.

If the governor’s proposal to eliminate the Homestead Exemption for property owners under the age of 65 is approved, owners of property that is their primary residence in town would not see a reduction of about $137 factored into their tax bills, Cushman said. Jay's tax rate is $13.75 per $1,000 of property.

“For some people that is a dramatic change,” she said.

If Gov. LePage’s proposal to eliminate state revenue sharing to towns is approved, Jay would lose $275,231, based on the current budget, she said. If the state was fully funding the state revenue sharing formula of 5 percent, Jay would have received $404,000.

Though the town is facing less of an affect under the governor’s proposal than other towns, the biggest impact to Jay is if his proposal to eliminate the Business Equipment Tax Exemption Program and maintain Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement program goes through.

Verso Paper Corp., which has paper mills in Jay and Bucksport, is facing an approximate increase of $4 to $5 million in the first 18 months between the two mills, she said.

“Jay is only as healthy as Verso is. We would hate to see Verso put at a disadvantage from corporate on investment at this mill. Maine is touting itself as being business friendly and this certainly is not a business friendly move,” she said. “The municipality is facing a lot of uncertainty. We don‘t know what is going to happen but it must be worse for this business.”

Cushman said she doesn’t know what affect the RSU 73 budget will have on the town. The governor is also proposing to fund education at the current  year’s level over the next two years.

The state would be better off to raise the sales tax than continue to put more burden on property taxpayers, she said. Maine’s sales tax is 5 percent.

“The majority of the people that I have listened to feel that a 1-cent increase on the sales tax is not unreasonable,” Cushman said. “If you look at the New England average we are low.”

dperry@sunjournal.com

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Comments

Steve  Dosh's picture

Property owners, renters stand to lose under proposal

Mainers, 13.02.19 13:30 hst ? 
Macroeconomics 1 01 ; when more people are working the economic pie gets larger . Thereafter , the slices of that pie get larger and l a r g e r for everyone involved . Problems arise when people want to get something for nothing , then sit and complain about it . The world owes nobody anything and you can not take it with you anyway
" Help ! i've fallen and can't get up to get my beer ! "
/s , Dr. Dosh :) •

Jeffrey Le Doux's picture

Property owners, renters stand to lose under proposal

Once again there are tears over the fact that this state ((Maine) is still in a financial crisis. Everyone wants a bigger share of a smaller pie. Well, we cannot have it both ways. The budget must be balanced, and everyone must pay. This is the net result of the policies put in place at the Federal level and everywhere down the line from there. I do wish the Federal government had a balanced budget order as do most states.

David Marsters's picture

Property owners

If the governor wants to cut revenue sharing, we should look at a 1% sales tax for each city and town. This way the 1% would not go to the state to be gobbled into the state budget for their phony programs.

Steve  Dosh's picture

David , i didn't vote for him

David , i didn't vote for him • Alo'ha from Pahoa *<;-Q~

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