D. Ludewig: TIF proposal up for vote

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Monmouth citizens have a rare opportunity. Central Maine Power has built a new substation in Monmouth valued at $22 million. It will increase the town’s total valuation and bring $293,000 in additional taxes to the town each year.

That increase in valuation will mean the state will give Monmouth less aid to education and less money from revenue sharing. It means RSU 2 and Kennebec County will assess Monmouth for a larger share of their operations.

Because of the increased tax revenue from CMP, Monmouth property taxes will decrease about $18 per $100,000 valuation.

In order to get greater benefit for the town than would be provided by that small reduction in property taxes, Monmouth selectmen have proposed creating a TIF district. That would allow 50 percent of the $293,000 ($146,000) to be used for improvements to Monmouth’s Main Street from Maple Street to Route 202, and create opportunities for economic development.

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Monmouth citizens can decide to use $146,000 for new sidewalks, historic renovations, refurbishing buildings — all to make Monmouth more attractive for businesses.

The TIF would reduce Monmouth’s valuation increase to $11 million (50 percent) and thus reduce the effect on state reductions in aid to education, revenue sharing, and Monmouth’s share of RSU 2 and Kennebec County funding. Monmouth property taxes would decrease by about $9 per $100,000 valuation.

Townspeople should take the opportunity to vote on the proposal on Feb. 12.

Douglas Ludewig, Monmouth

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