[Editor's note: Due to a technical error, the wrong letter was posted under Mr. Jackson's name this morning. The correct letter has been posted as of 10 a.m. Monday morning.]
This is submitted to correct severe inaccuracies in a letter from Oxford County Treasurer Roy Gedat (March 18).
Gedat repeatedly asserts that proposed changes to the Land Use Regulation Commission will raise taxes in Oxford County, and for that reason he opposes changes to LURC.
Let’s take a closer look.
The treasurer’s letter fails to mention that none of the county’s 36 towns, comprising 96 percent of the county’s taxable value, will be affected financially or otherwise by changes at LURC. Also omitted is the fact that 98 percent of Oxford County residents live in towns and beyond any tax effect that may be caused by changes to LURC.
Because unorganized territories spending is segregated by law from the county general fund budget and its supporting county tax, the county treasurer is just about entirely wrong on this issue — a minimum of 96 percent wrong, with the last 4 percent giving him the benefit of a doubt.
The treasurer could be 100 percent wrong. The statewide $1.8 million LURC expenditure is supported by taxes already levied against Maine’s unorganized territory. If that figure is apportioned among individual county's territories, there may be no change whatsoever in the tax burden of Oxford County’s unorganized territories.
We are left to wonder if the elected treasurer’s letter has been motivated by fleeting political gain, or if it is indicative of less-than-full comprehension of the county financial system. Either possibility is discouraging, the latter in particular.
Caldwell Jackson, Oxford
Oxford County Commissioner