Oxford County commissioners OK $1M unorganized territories budget

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PARIS — Oxford County commissioners approved a $1.02 million budget for the Unorganized Territories on Tuesday.

Although the 2013-14 budget is reduced by about $4,000 less than this year’s, a loss of excise tax revenue means taxpayers will pick up a bigger piece of the pie.

The tax rate rose seven cents, from $3.07 to $3.14 per $1,000 of assessed property value as a result. County Administrator Scott Cole said the reduction in excise tax revenue is a trend from the past few years.

The county was over budget last year on road repair work. This year, repair expenditures are up $6,000 to $228,000, and recycling costs are up $3,000 to $77,000.

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Balancing that out is a reduction in snow removal costs from $213,750 to $200,000, due to last year’s light snowfall. Cole said he’s crossing his fingers that this winter isn’t much heavier than last.

The board forwarded the budget to the state. It was due in November, but the board was working on the county budget at that time.

The Unorganized Territory budget covers roads, fire and ambulance services, cemetery maintenance, street lights and other services in Albany, Mason, Riley, Milton, Grafton and Batchelders Grant townships.

The state collects property taxes and disburses the funds to the county in four payments over the year. Cole said county taxpayers in incorporated towns don’t pay into the UT budget, and both have separate accounts, although UT residents also pay county taxes.

treaves@sunjournal.com

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