Poland selectmen set higher tax rate

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POLAND — Selectmen set a slightly higher tax rate Tuesday night for the coming year and signed warrant articles involving tax incentives and land-use laws, which will come before voters at a special town meeting.

That meeting has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, at the Town Hall.

Three of the warrant articles involve amending the town’s tax increment financing program. The TIF amendments cover three basic areas:

• Allow selectmen to approve credit enhancement agreements for the Poland Spring Company Municipal Development and the Poland Downtown Village Amended Omnibus Municipal Development Tax Increment Financing districts;

• Correct some mapping errors discovered by the Geographic Information System, and;

• Add additional uses of TIF revenues as allowed by state statute.

The Board of Selectmen and Community Economic Development Committee have recommended approval of the amendments.

Three additional articles seek changes to the town’s comprehensive land use code.

The first deals with amending the Multi Family Dwellings and Planned Residential Developments ordinance. In essence, for new buildings that are served by a public sewer system, the minimum square footage for individual units in a residential apartment building would be reduced from 10,000 to 5,000 square feet.

The second article would amend the size of electronic imaging signs.

The third would alter the category of a specific, single lot in the wetland zoning district on Middle Range Pond.

The Planning Board does not recommend approval of the first two articles, and does recommend approving the third article.

In a related matter, Town Manager Matthew Garside reported that the Maine Revenue Services conducted an audit and found no discrepancies in the accounting of the town’s three TIF districts.

Selectmen also set the tax rate at $14.98 per thousand dollars of property valuation. Garside stated the increase represents an additional $36 a year in property taxes for a Poland home valued at $150,000.

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