Dixfield tax rate goes up

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The Dixfield Board of Selectmen set the annual tax rate Monday night. From left are Aaron Jamison, Town Manager Carlo Puiia, Peter Holman and Montell Kennedy. (Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times)

DIXFIELD — Selectmen voted Monday evening to set the 2018-19 tax rate at $26.6 per $1,000 of assessed property value. Because of a revaluation this year, the mill rate has increased,  Town Manager Carlo Puiia said.

He estimated that taxes on a $100,000 home would be $2,660.

“A lot of people react to the mill rate, but unless you know what your valuation is, it’s hard to know how that mill rate affects you,” he said.

“Most properties will be reduced in valuation,” Puiia said. “The town has less value to tax, so the mill rate goes up.”

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Puiia was notified by Tax Assessor Paul Binnett that because it’s a revaluation year, “you may get challenged on some of the valuations, which may result in abatements.”

Money for abatements comes out of overlay. Overlay money that is not used will go back into the general fund.

While last year’s budget surplus was $1.2 million, Puiia said, “We won’t know this year’s amount until after the annual audit.”

Selectmen have voted to use $175,000 from surplus to help lower the tax rate.

As a point of information, Puiia told board members that the Regional School Unit 56 assessment is $2.39 million. 

He said that over the five years he has helped the board set the tax rate, the school assessment has increased by $556,785, a 34 percent increase.

The municipal budget increase is 3.7 percent over the same period.

The 2018-19 school assessment exceeds the $2.37 million municipal budget, which Puiia said doesn’t take into account revenue-sharing and other credits coming to the town.

Puiia said tax bills could go out as soon as Aug. 15.

The first half of the taxes is due Sept. 15, with the second half due April 15, 2019. Interest begins Sept. 16 and April 16 at the rate of 7 percent.

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