Poland board bumps tax rate 20 cents

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POLAND — Selectmen on Tuesday set the 2015-16 property tax rate at $14.20 per thousand dollars of assessed property value, an increase of 20 cents over the year ending June 30.

The new rate means taxes on a property assessed at $100,000 will increase $20.

Town Manager Bradley Plante said three-quarters of the increase can be attributed to payments the town makes to Androscoggin County and to Regional School Unit 16.

“The town’s operational budget is actually down by 1.3 percent this year,” Plante said. “It was line items we have no control over, things like insurances and utilities, that pushed the town side up.”

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Plante pointed out that selectmen had chosen to take $92,000 from the undesignated fund balance to keep the overall tax rate increase to 20 cents.

Voters at a town meeting authorized the board to take up to $150,000 from reserves to lower the tax rate.

Also keeping the increase down, Plante noted, is the fact that the town’s total valuation increased by $530,000 this year.

Bills for the first half of the year’s taxes will be mailed to property owners in September.

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