Jay tax rate expected to decline

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JAY — After several years of rising tax rates, a decrease is expected this year, Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said Wednesday.

Selectpersons will set the 2018-19 rate at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug.21, at the Town Office. The board set the date at Monday’s meeting.

The tax rate is $22.50.

“I anticipate a reduction in the tax rate,” LaFreniere said.

The town’s assessing agent, Paul Binette of John E. O’Donnell Associates of New Gloucester, will working present a series of tax scenarios to selectpersons Tuesday.

Since 2014-15, the tax rate has risen $8.50 per $1,000 of property valuation, which is mostly attributed to the decreasing value of the town and Verso Corp.’s paper mill and associated equipment.

The town also had to repay Verso $4 million to settle a tax dispute. The final $1.3 million payment is due this fiscal year.

In other business on Monday, selectpersons voted after an executive session to allow Donna Ladd, Police Department secretary/dispatcher, to retire under the Maine Public Employees Retirement System and be rehired at her current wage, LaFreniere said Tuesday.

“It will save the town more than $4,000 a year and we maintain a valuable employee who has been with us for 21 years,” she said. 

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